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New three-dimension structured photocatalytic foam media for use in traversing-flow structured-bed photoreactors

Shabnam Hajiesmaili ,  Sébastien Josset ,  Dominique Bégin ,  David Edouard ,  Cuong Pham-Huu ,  Nicolas Keller ,  Valérie Keller 

CNRS, ULP, Laboratoire des Matériaux, Surfaces et Procédés pour la Catalyse (LMSPC), 25 rue Becquerel, Strasbourg 67087, France


It is thought that an important obstacle in the development of highly efficient photocatalytic reactors is related to the establishment of effective reactor design as demanded by industrial and commercial applications.

The seep flow annular reactor with an uniform photocatalytic coating on the internal surface of the external tube, is actually a widely used lab-scale reference photoreactor, which benefits from a very good direct illumination by an inner lighting. However, this photoreactor suffers strongly from a low contact surface between the reactant flow and the exposed photocatalytic coating, which limits its use to low lab-scale air flow rates. Therefore new photocatalytic media and/or their associated photoreactor designs have to emerged, especially to be used in high flow rate real conditions.

This talk reports on the design of a new 3D-structured photocatalytic media, consisting in 3D alveolar foams supporting a TiO2 photocatalyst, and leading to design a new 3D-structured photocatalytic bed reactor working in a traversing mode. This photocatalyst benefits from a good illumination, and its 3D-designed alveolar structure allows the reactor working in a traversing mode with a highly improved contact surface, whereas it avoids detrimental pressure drops when working at high flow rates.

The target reaction for evidencing the interest of using this 3D-structured traversing-flow reactor compared to a conventional annular seep flow one is the gas-phase photocatalytic oxidation of methanol in dry condition.

Characterizations of foam-based supports, notably performed by light transmission evaluation through the foam, SEM and pressure drop measurements, allowed the impact of both chemical nature and alveolar size of the 3D foams to be shown, for highlighting the interest of using 3D-structured alveolar foam-based photocatalytic materials and of designing derived traversing-flow photocatalytic bed reactors.

The SICAT company is greatly thanked for supporting the study.


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Related papers

Presentation: Oral at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2008, Symposium D, by Shabnam Hajiesmaili
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2008

Submitted: 2008-06-11 14:34
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:48