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Photocatalysis, the theory of the invention

Recent media reports have called photocatalysis the “most significant Japanese invention of the 21st century”. But what is the process of photocatalysis, and the photocatalysts that make this possible?

A photocatalyst is a coating agent that contains Titanium Dioxide as the active ingredient. A chemical oxidation-reducing reaction occurs when sunlight or artificial light, comes into contact with the photocatalyst.

 

The smaller the particles are, the faster the reaction occurs with less light. When the coating is applied to a surface, it acts as:  

  • Antimicrobial catalyst that protects against adhesion, spread of dirt and micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses, algae and fungi) on a surface. 

  • Air purifier, by using a photocatalytic coating to paint interior walls, airborne Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs*) such as formaldehyde, unpleasant odours (smoke), and various germs (influenza, viruses such as COVID-19, mould, E-coli, Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA etc. that cause the “Sick Building Syndrome” are broken down and rendered harmless. 

  • Water- and dirt-repellent, the coating forms a hydrophilic layer on a surface, preventing water and dirt from adhering to it. Surfaces are less likely to get dirty and are easier and faster to clean by, for example, only rinsing with water, requiring less expensive and polluting cleaning agents.

  • UV protection, because the coating is activated by UV light and converts UV energy into hydroxyl radicals, it prevents surfaces from becoming UV permeable or affected (discoloured).   

How Photocatalysis works in practice

How did we put the idea of photocatalysis into  practice with the development of Foresta purifying paint?

One of the important ingredients in paint is... Titanium Dioxide. This raw material has powerful “whitening” properties which results in enormous coverage  and masking power.  

 

Using nanotechnology to trigger a reaction between (sun)light, added silver salts and Titanium Dioxide, a continuous photocatalysis process is created, which breaks down micro-organisms, dirt and hazardous volatiles and converts them into water and CO2. We developed a blocking system, SARC,  to prevent the active photocatalysis process from also discolouring the paint.

This system guarantees the colourfastness of the paint without negatively affecting its air-purifying character. The result is a revolutionary and unique organic        paint whose properties make environments, especially indoors, healthier by purifying the air on a daily basis, thus improving the quality of life.

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Nano Future Technologies explanatory graphic of how it works

Painting with Foresta Purifying paint ensures a sustainable and safe environment and is recommended for use in all structures where strong action against micro-organisms is required, such as homes, schools, creches, hospitals, residential complexes, offices and public places, flats, villas and hotels.

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