VOC Removal by Novel Regenerable Silica-Titania Sorbent and Photocatalytic Technology 2009-01-2443
Silica-titania composites (STC), a novel sorbent and photocatalytic technology developed at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida have been evaluated for removal of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from aircraft cabin air. Currently, activated carbon filters are used, but must be replaced frequently due to their limited adsorption capacity. These filters must be disposed of and cannot be regenerated and reused. The STC technology is a significant improvement upon the current control technology because of its high adsorption capacity and the ability to regenerate via photocatalytic oxidation (PCO). When the STC sorbent is irradiated with UV, adsorbed VOCs are mineralized to CO2 and H2O and the material is regenerated and ready for reuse multiple times. The technology is capable of removing over 95% of VOCs (e.g., toluene and ethanol) from simulated aircraft cabin air over extended periods of time (20 hrs) with low contact time (0.1 s), high face velocity (180 ft/min), and short regeneration durations (e.g., 1 hr). Only a slight deterioration in adsorption capacity is observed after multiple regenerations.