The viability of photocatalysis for air purification

Molecules. 2015 Jan 14;20(1):1319-56. doi: 10.3390/molecules20011319.


Photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) air purification technology is reviewed based on the decades of research conducted by the United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) and their external colleagues. UTRC conducted basic research on the reaction rates of various volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The knowledge gained allowed validation of 1D and 3D prototype reactor models that guided further purifier development. Colleagues worldwide validated purifier prototypes in simulated realistic indoor environments. Prototype products were deployed in office environments both in the United States and France. As a result of these validation studies, it was discovered that both catalyst lifetime and byproduct formation are barriers to implementing this technology. Research is ongoing at the University of Connecticut that is applicable to extending catalyst lifetime, increasing catalyst efficiency and extending activation wavelength from the ultraviolet to the visible wavelengths. It is critical that catalyst lifetime is extended to realize cost effective implementation of PCO air purification.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Air Filters*
  • Catalysis
  • Kinetics
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Photochemical Processes*
  • Temperature
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / analysis


  • Volatile Organic Compounds