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Self-Cleaning Concrete

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WCompleted-Jubilee-Church-View-2hen used on or in a concrete structure, photocatalysts decompose organic materials that foul the surface. Dirt (soot, grime, oil and particulates), biological organisms (mold, algae, bacteria and allergens), air-borne pollutants (VOCs including formaldehyde and benzene; tobacco smoke; and the nitrous oxides (NOx) and sulfuric oxides (SOx) that are significant factors in smog), and even the chemicals that cause odors, can be destroyed by the photocatalytic effect. The products of the photocatalytic degradation are oxygen, carbon dioxide, water, sulfate, nitrate and other molecules that are either beneficial to or at have a relatively benign impact on the environment.

As the surface becomes hydrophilic due to the presence of TiO2 under UV light, the products of the photocatalytic reaction are removed from the treated surface. A hydrophilic surface prevents moisture from forming beads of water that may cause stains by attracting and holding dirt and then streaking the surface. Instead, moisture forms a thin film across a surface that interferes with the adhesion of dirt. Rain or simple rinsing can then easily remove the dirt. As a result, the facades or structure stays cleaner. One construction industry application that is  available in the United States is self-cleaning glass, offered by  Pilkington and PPG, for example.

In innovative projects, architects and engineers are incorporating the concepts of cutting-edge technologies towards to the sustainable constructions.

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