Innovative Ways to Disinfect Surfaces Using Catalysis

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: Chemistry

Abstract

At present surface cleaning is typically carried out using molecules that contain reactive oxygen species (e.g. hypochlorite) that enable disinfection to be achieved. It has been this way for generations but this needs to change and catalysis is the answer. The aim of this project is to create the active oxygen species in situ by the application of catalysis. One approach is to make in situ hydrogen peroxide and this requires the provision of hydrogen. While this approach can work for larger scale applications it will be limited for applications of surface cleaning. To achieve this we either have to provide an alternative molecule to activate the oxygen or use photocatalysts to create reactive oxygen species. This project will explore both possibilities. For the first approach we will explore the possibility of hydrogen borrowing from molecules such as isopropanol as the by-product acetone will only be formed in small amounts. In this case we will use Pd catalysts capable of making hydrogen peroxide in situ with oxygen from the air. In the second approach we will explore the use of perovskite catalysts that can photocatalytically generate hydrogen and we will explore the use of LED illumination as only low amounts of hydrogen are required.
The project will involve catalyst synthesis, evaluation and characterisation with the aim to obtain structure activity relationships that will aid the design of improved catalysts.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S515000/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2022
2254641 Studentship EP/S515000/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Greg Sharp