Materials for environmental applications (photocatalysis)

As an advanced oxidation method, photocatalytic oxidation of organic compounds with the use of titanium dioxide as a catalyst is applied for decontamination of water and air. We initiated the TiO2-photocatalysis research in Slovenia and have already gained an expertise in the preparation and functional evaluation of the nanocatalyst materials for water treatment (solid-liquid interface), air remediation (solid-air interface) and self-cleaning surfaces (solid-solid interface). We prepare photocatalysts in powder and thin-film form, which are used for the degradation of various organic pollutants in water and air as well as for self-cleaning and antibacterial purposes. Our laboratory is equipped with photoreactors of different sizes for liquid and gaseous photocatalysis, in which the synthesized materials are evaluated with respect to their efficiency in water and air treatment. Efficiency of the photocatalyst in water treatment can be considerably enhanced by ozonation, resulting in a synergic effect. Two photoreactors can be emphasized, a pilot reactor for water treatment using solar light for its functioning and a reactor system constructed recently for gaseous photocatalysis with on-line connection to the GC-MS analyzer.

We have coordinated three national applied projects on photocatalysis and became a management committee member of the COST action 540 – “Phonasum” as well as an academic committee member of the European Photocatalysis Federation. Currently we take part in the EU project “Nanoforce” (nanotechnology for chemical enterprises).


Low-T anatase-titania supported in ordered
mesoporous SBA-15 (TiO2/SBA-15(1/1))


TiO2-SiO2 nanocoating makes a self-cleaning glass
surface (right side of the glass)


Gaseous photoreactor system
(with on-line connection to GC-MS)


Thin-film photocatalyst on glass slides for water treatment


Pilot reactor for water treatment