Weathering of photocatalytic TiO2 coatings represents an important issue for the successful application of TiO2-based self-cleaning materials. Photocatalytic efficiency of the as-prepared materials is crucial for commercialization; however, changes in the coating performance due to weathering become a critical factor for practical applications. Moreover, chemical durability should be considered as weathering can promote the release of photocatalyst nanoparticles, which can pollute the environment and be hazardous for human health. In this study, two photocatalytic TiO2 coatings with different microstructures (namely compact and mesoporous) were exposed to chemical treatments to simulate domestic and environmental weathering. Results show that dense TiO2 coatings with a slow photocatalytic activity are suitable for domestic applications as minimum leaching of photoactive material was observed. Conversely, once exposed to chemical solutions commonly present in domestic environments, the initially highly active mesoporous TiO2 coatings showed a dramatic drop of the self-cleaning performance and a significant release of nanoparticles in the surrounding environment. It is expected that the results reported here will be of particular relevance for the construction sector, as the manuscript discloses important knowledge for the development of TiO2-based self-cleaning materials once exposed to indoor or outdoor environments.
Building and Environment – Elsevier
Published: Mar 15, 2018
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