Improved indoor air quality through photocatalytically active coatings
Our health and well-being are negatively affected by harmful substances indoors. Such harmful substances are, for example, outgassing compounds from furniture and carpets or contamination of the breathing air with spores from any mold that is present. De-polluting paints for outdoor applications have already been established with titanium dioxide as the active material, although the challenge is to achieve this effect even with normal room lighting.
Within the framework of the EU project OSIRYS, Fraunhofer IGB has developed a photocatalytically active interior paint in cooperation with SICC GmbH. The effect is based on the formation of active oxygen species when irradiated with light which chemically attack organic compounds. Fraunhofer IGB has investigated the photocatalytic activity of various commercially available materials under application-relevant conditions. This included the evaluation of the effect on organic compounds and microorganisms.
With the most active TiO2 material, a paint has been developed by SICC. With standardized office lights, this coating for interiors shows high activity levels against microorganisms such as Sarcina lutea and Aspergillus brasiliensis, the cause of black mold. After 3 days of exposure to light, a reduction of the colony-forming units (CFU) from 10,000 to 10, and after 7 days to zero, was achieved for Aspergillus brasiliensis. No bacteria were reduced without light. Similar values were obtained for Sarcina lutea. Commercial distribution is to be carried out via SICC GmbH.