Among the decontamination methods applicable to indoor air, heterogeneous photocatalysis has received increasing attention in recent years. This decontamination method is based on the UV irradiation of a solid catalyst, normally TiO2, aiming at the generation of highly reactive hydroxyl radicals. In this work, a novel way to prepare the photocatalyst was used, incorporating pure P-25 TiO2 (Degussa) into polyester orthophthalic polymer. The film was coated onto the walls of a PVC reactor with a concentric 30 W germicidal lamp (254 nm). The efficiency of this prototype was evaluated against fungi and bacteria elimination in a 67 m3 confined room. The system was very efficient for bacteria reduction, decreasing the bacterial count to below the detection limit (1 CFU/plate during 30-min sampling) after 2 h of operation at 195 l/min. For fungi, the gas-phase reactor showed to be less efficient and silver doping of the catalyst showed no increase in biocide activity.
Practical implications: The use of a photocatalytic reactor based on TiO2 incorporated onto polyester orthophtalic polymer has been tested at 195 l/min, showing good performance in the air disinfection of a 67 m3 room.