Self-clean coatings are breath of fresh air

Research into photocatalytic technology can be used to produce external wall coatings that can self-clean and purify the surrounding air.

Research into photocatalytic technology has been given a lift thanks to an agreement between the Shanghai Normal University and the Shanghai Wanming Environmental Protection Technology Co.

The technology can be used to produce external wall coatings that can self-clean and purify the surrounding air.

The company is also testing a new coating product that could be used on roads to absorb vehicle exhaust.

“Our coating products have been used on some exterior walls of buildings such as the Shanghai Stadium and Songjiang branch of the Shanghai General Hospital,” said Chen Naxin, general manager of the company.

“Those walls painted with our coating are still bright after several years. It’s also effective in preventing detergents from corroding into walls.”

Chen said that 200 square meters of exterior walls with photocatalytic coating can purify as much air as 14 white poplars.

Li Hexing, director of the university’s International Joint Laboratory on Resource Chemistry, said photocatalytic technology also has great potential in other applications as it can create a chemical reaction similar to photosynthesis, effectively decomposing organic compounds into harmless carbon dioxide and water.

Li’s lab and the company will work together to do more research as well as cultivate talent.

Zou Zhigang, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a professor at Nanjing University, said the technology could also be used in indoor decoration and car panels.


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