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Open AccessArticle

TiO2-Based Photocatalytic Geopolymers for Nitric Oxide Degradation

1
Construction Technologies Institute-National Research Council of Italy (ITC-CNR), via Lombardia 49, San Giuliano Milanese I-20098, Italy
2
Department of Engineering, University of Naples “Parthenope”, INSTM Research Unit Napoli Parthenope, Centro Direzionale Isola C4, Naples I-80143, Italy
3
INSTM, Consorzio Interuniversitario per la Scienza e Tecnologia dei Materiali, Via G. Giusti, 9, Firenze I-50121, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Dirk Poelman
Materials 2016, 9(7), 513; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9070513
Received: 13 May 2016 / Revised: 20 June 2016 / Accepted: 21 June 2016 / Published: 24 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Geopolymers and Alkali-Activated Materials)
This study presents an experimental overview for the development of photocatalytic materials based on geopolymer binders as catalyst support matrices. Particularly, geopolymer matrices obtained from different solid precursors (fly ash and metakaolin), composite systems (siloxane-hybrid, foamed hybrid), and curing temperatures (room temperature and 60 °C) were investigated for the same photocatalyst content (i.e., 3% TiO2 by weight of paste). The geopolymer matrices were previously designed for different applications, ranging from insulating (foam) to structural materials. The photocatalytic activity was evaluated as NO degradation in air, and the results were compared with an ordinary Portland cement reference. The studied matrices demonstrated highly variable photocatalytic performance depending on both matrix constituents and the curing temperature, with promising activity revealed by the geopolymers based on fly ash and metakaolin. Furthermore, microstructural features and titania dispersion in the matrices were assessed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray (EDS) analyses. Particularly, EDS analyses of sample sections indicated segregation effects of titania in the surface layer, with consequent enhancement or depletion of the catalyst concentration in the active sample region, suggesting non-negligible transport phenomena during the curing process. The described results demonstrated that geopolymer binders can be interesting catalyst support matrices for the development of photocatalytic materials and indicated a large potential for the exploitation of their peculiar features. View Full-Text
Keywords: geopolymer; alkali activated material; photocatalysis; metakaolin; fly ash; titanium dioxide geopolymer; alkali activated material; photocatalysis; metakaolin; fly ash; titanium dioxide
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MDPI and ACS Style

Strini, A.; Roviello, G.; Ricciotti, L.; Ferone, C.; Messina, F.; Schiavi, L.; Corsaro, D.; Cioffi, R. TiO2-Based Photocatalytic Geopolymers for Nitric Oxide Degradation. Materials 2016, 9, 513.

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