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Research Evaluates Use of Titanium Dioxide in Construction Activities

Research Evaluates Use of Titanium Dioxide in Construction Activities

Researchers from Chungnam National University synthesized nano-SiO2/Al2O3-TiO2 powder by coating SiO2 and Al2O3 support materials with TiO2 for pozzolanic applications

Rapid industrial development and increasing construction activities have led to surge in air pollution. Air pollution is a significant factor in environmental problems such as global warming.  Major sources for air pollution include vehicles, industrial boilers, and power generation facilities. Oxides of nitrogen: nitrogen dioxide and nitric oxide — are harmful air pollutants that are emitted from these sources. Oxides of nitrogen can cause respiratory disease, photochemical smog, and acid rain. Purification and detoxification of oxides of nitrogen via photocatalytic reactions are some of the measures for reducing oxides of nitrogen air pollution.

Now, a team of researchers from Chungnam National University and Daejeon University synthesized Nano-SiO2/Al2O3-TiO2 powder (NTCP) by coating silicon dioxide (SiO2) and aluminum oxide (Al2O3) support materials with titanium dioxide (TiO2) in order to increase the use of TiO2 as a construction material as part of the research to purify air pollution. The team used X-ray powder diffraction, scanning electron microscope, and transmission electron microscopy to analyze and compare the developed NTCP and commercial TiO2. The team found that the NTCP was mineral form of titanium dioxide in phase spherical particles.

The NTCP had a light absorption peak and its absorbance was much larger than that of commercial TiO2. The material demonstrated an increased strength compared to plain and commercial TiO2 mortar. A decrease in the compressive strength was observed as the replacement ratio of commercial TiO2 increased and the compressive strength increased according to the replacement ratio of the NTCP. In further research, the team plans to quantitatively study pozzolan reactions within the mortar matrix that applies NTCP and to assess the ability of the material in removing oxides of nitrogen for use on site. The research was published in the journal MDPI Materials on March 28, 2019.