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Development of a photocatalytic reactor for indoor air decontamination

Grant number: 19/01044-8
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: November 01, 2019 - May 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering - Chemical Technology
Principal researcher:Ursula Luana Rochetto Doubek
Grantee:Ursula Luana Rochetto Doubek
Company:Ursula Luana Rochetto Doubek - ME
CNAE: Testes e análises técnicas
Pesquisa e desenvolvimento experimental em ciências físicas e naturais
Atividades de atenção à saúde humana não especificadas anteriormente
City: Campinas
Assoc. researchers:Domingos da Silva Leite ; Edson Tomaz ; Savio Souza Venancio Vianna
Associated scholarship(s):19/25128-6 - Development of a photocatalytic reactor for indoor air decontamination, BP.TT
19/25122-8 - Development of a photocatalytic reactor for indoor air decontamination, BP.PIPE


The concern with air quality has increased over the last few years. Particularly indoor pollution has attracted more and more attention from researchers around the world, since people spend most of their time indoors. This project aims to develop an air decontaminator, that is, a small, robust and effective equipment for indoor air treatment. The base technology is heterogeneous photocatalysis, that employs a commercial catalyst (titanium dioxide) and an UVC germicidal lamp (254 nm peak wavelenght emission) to generate highly active species (hydroxyls), which are capable of degrading volatile organic compounds (VOC) with elevated eficciency. The presence of an UVC lamp also allows the inactivating of pathogenic microorganisms that cause respiratory and allergic diseases. It is intended to develop a prototype for use in enclosed spaces with internal air conditioning system where there is agglomeration of people, such as, schools, hospital environments, medical or beauty clinics, waiting rooms, among others. The sizing of the equipment will be done with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) that uses simulations of different possible scenarios allowing to define throughout the project the best options of size and the best positioning at a specific closed environment. The external finish of the final product and an electrical system that integrates all the necessary functions will also be studied. An exhaust system will be built according to the particularities of the equipment, maintaining its efficient and quiet performance; its capacity will also be based on CFD simulations. A system of humidification will also be considered and its viability for product integration will be evaluated. After the construction of the equipment, efficiency tests will be conducted in two stages: 1. Volatile organic compounds degradation - an air stream contaminated with VOC will be generated in laboratory and it will pass through the equipment; then the performance in degrading these compounds will be measured with a total hydrocarbon analyzer with flame ionization detector (THC/FID); 2. Microorganisms inactivation - some locations that meet established criteria will initially be mapped so that a standard can be defined for the presence of these microorganisms; then the environments will be re-analyzed before and during the equipment operation over time. These tests will be carried out according to Anvisa Resolution 09/2003 by using portable air samplers for Agar plates in order to quantify the presence of colony-forming microorganisms. For VOC tests high efficiency is expected (above 95% degradation) once the base technology has already been tested by researchers in several other projects. For microbiological tests literature indicates 100% inactivation of most microorganisms with the use of UVC germicidal lamp. After completing this project, if it is successful as it is believed, the host company is expected to develop an adequate business plan and soon start selling the finished product in Brazilian market. (AU)

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