Photocatalysis LAB

Sistema integrato per la misura dell'attività fotocatalitica dei materiali

Photocatalytic materials for environmental depollution applications are an important field of scientific and industrial research with several products already on the market. The Photocatalysis LAB of the Materials Technologies department was launched in 2002 when ITC joined the EU project PICADA. (PHOTOCATALYTIC INNOVATIVE COVERINGS APPLICATION FOR DEPOLLUTION ASSESSMENT EC GRD1-2001-40449); since then the activity of the laboratory has focused on the development of methods and tools to measure air and water depollution using photocatalytic materials for applications in the construction sector.


The laboratory activity concentrates on advanced and applied research in cooperation with research bodies, universities and companies of the sector. More specifically, an integrated instrument system has been recently developed to measure the air depollution process using photocatalytic materials in active and passive applications. The system is available in a variety of versions which are under continuous development and update. It appears in a number of international publications and it offers the possibility to measure directly the degradation of airborne pollutants, in simulated operating environment (both indoor and outdoor). The research activity is intended to support R&D of the enterprises in the construction sector, and it includes both the characterisation of photocatalytic properties of materials which are under study or currently marketed, and the implementation of specific measurement techniques.

The laboratory is supplied with the following instruments and systems:

  • Integrated measurement systems for degradation photocatalytic activity of airborne pollutants based on continuous-flow stirred-tank reactor (CSTR).
  • Digitally controlled artificial air generators.
  • Chemiluminescence analysers for traces of VOCs (based on gas chromatography with thermal desorption sampling) and nitrogen oxides.
  • Gas flow calibration systems (1 to 2000 mL/min).
  • Dew point relative humidity calibration system with optical interface.
  • Optical fibre measurement systems for reflectance, transmittance and spectral irradiance in the UV-Vis band (250-800 nm).
  • Photodiode radiometric systems with spectral calibration.