Titanium dioxide nanotubes (TNT) have mainly been used in dye sensitized solar cells, essentially because of a higher transport rate of electrons from the adsorbed photo-excited dye to the Ti electrode onto which TNT instead of TiO2
nanoparticles (TNP) are attached. The dimension ranges and the two main synthesis methods of TNT are briefly indicated here. Not surprisingly, the particular and regular texture of TNT was also expected to improve the photocatalytic efficacy for pollutant removal in air and water with respect to TNP. In this short review, the validity of this expectation is checked using the regrettably small number of literature comparisons between TNT and commercialized TNP referring to films of similar thickness and layers or slurries containing an equal TiO2
mass. Although the irradiated geometrical area differed for each study, it was identical for each comparison considered here. For the removal of toluene (methylbenzene) or acetaldehyde (ethanal) in air, the average ratio of the efficacy of TNT over that of TiO2
P25 was about 1.5, and for the removal of dyes in water, it was around 1. This lack of major improvement with TNT compared to TNP could partially be due to TNT texture disorders as seems to be suggested by the better average performance of anodic oxidation-prepared TNT. It could also come from the fact that the properties influencing the efficacy are more numerous, their interrelations more complex and their effects more important for pollutant removal than for dye sensitized solar cells and photoelectrocatalysis where the electron transport rate is the crucial parameter.