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Ammonia and methane oxidation on TiO2 supported on glass fiber mesh under artificial solar irradiation

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In this work, we present the application of solar photocatalysis for air purification including toxic substances such as ammonia and methane normally related to emissions from agriculture (e.g., poultry and cattle farms), landfills, etc. The study was done in three different laboratory and semi-pilot scale reactors: annular reactor (AR), mini-photocatalytic wind tunnel (MPWT), and photocatalytic wind tunnel (PWT). Reactors present a physical model for estimation of air-borne pollutant degradation over TiO2-based photocatalytic layer in respect to optimal operating conditions (relative humidity, air/gas flow, and feed concentration). All studies were performed under artificial solar irradiation with different portions of UVB and UVA light. The application of solar photocatalysis for air purification was evaluated based on thorough monitoring of pollutants in inlet and outlet streams. The kinetic study resulted with intrinsic reaction rate constants: kp,int,NH3 = (3.05 ± 0.04) × 10−3 cm4.5 mW−0.5 g−1 min−1 and kp,int,CH4 = (1.81 ± 0.02) × 10−2 cm4.5 mW−0.5 g−1 min−1, calculated using axial dispersion model including mass transfer considerations and first-order reaction rate kinetics with photon absorption effects. The results of photocatalytic oxidation of NH3 and CH4 confirmed continuous reduction of pollutant content in the air stream due to the oxidation of NH3 to N2 and CH4 to CO and CO2, respectively. The application of solar photocatalysis in outdoor air protection is still a pioneering work in the field, and the results obtained in this work represent a good basis for sizing large-scale devices and applying them to prevent further environmental pollution. In the current study, a TiO2 P25 supported on a glass fiber mesh was prepared from commercially available materials. The system designed in this way is easy to perform, operate, and relatively inexpensive.

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This work was partially supported by the Ministry of Science and Education of Croatia under the project HrZZ-IP-2018-01-5246. The photocatalytic material was developed in the frame of the project “Waste & Sun for photocatalytic degradation of micropollutants in water” (OSMi), supported by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), KK.

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Correspondence to Ivana Grčić.

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Responsible Editor: Sami Rtimi

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Grčić, I., Marčec, J., Radetić, L. et al. Ammonia and methane oxidation on TiO2 supported on glass fiber mesh under artificial solar irradiation. Environ Sci Pollut Res 28, 18354–18367 (2021).

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