TiO2 photocatalysis in cementitious systems: insights into self-cleaning and depollution chemistry

Andrea Folli, Claus Pade, Tommy Baek Hansen, Tiziana De Marco, Donald E. Macphee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

244 Citations (Scopus)


The present work offers a general overview about application of titanium dioxide (or titania), TiO2, photocatalysis to concrete technology in relation to enhanced aesthetic durability and depollution properties achieved by implementing TiO2 into cement. Chemistry of degradation of Rhodamine B (RhB), a red dye used to assess self-cleaning performances of concretes containing TiO2, as well as oxidation of nitrogen oxides (NOx), gaseous atmospheric pollutants responsible for acid rains and photochemical smog, is investigated using two commercial titania samples in cement and mortar specimens: a microsized, m-TiO2 (average particle size 153.7 nm +/- 48.1 nm) and a nanosized, n-TiO2 (average particle size 18.4 nm +/- 5.0 nm). Experimental data on photocatalytic performances measured for the two samples are discussed in relation to photocatalyst properties and influence of the chemical environment of cement on titania particles. Impacts on applications in construction concrete are also discussed. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-548
Number of pages10
JournalCement and Concrete Research
Issue number3
Early online date11 Jan 2012
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

Bibliographical note

The authors are grateful to the European Community under the Marie Curie Research Training Network MRTN-CT-2005-019283 “Fundamental understanding of cementitious materials for improved chemical physical and aesthetic performance” (http://www.nanocem.org/MC-RTN/) for the full support of Andrea Folli.


  • TiO2 photocatalysis
  • self-cleaning
  • aesthetic durability
  • depollution
  • particle size
  • visible-light irradiation
  • rhodamine-B
  • oxidation
  • dispersions
  • degradation
  • purification
  • adsorption
  • electrode
  • layers
  • gases


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