Development of photocatalytic active TiO2 surfaces by thermal spraying of nanopowders
Titanium dioxide is a very useful photocatalyst for the decomposition and diminution of environmental water and air pollutants. In such applications, it can be used as slurry or as immobilized coating obtained by different deposition methods. The studies performed in the last years showed that thermal spraying could be employed to elaborate TiO2 coatings with high performance for the decomposition of organic compounds. This manuscript presents a comparative study on the microstructure and photocatalytic performance of titania coatings obtained by different thermal spray techniques: atmospheric plasma spraying (APS), suspension plasma spraying (SPS), and high-velocity oxygen fuel spray process (HVOF). Different titania powders and suspensions were used to study the influence of the feedstock materials on the coating characteristics. The deposits were mainly characterised by SEM and X-ray diffraction. The photocatalytic performance was evaluated from the removal of nitrogen oxides. The experimental results showed that a drastic reduction of the pollutant concentration was obtained in presence of coatings elaborated by suspension plasma spraying. TiO2 coatings resulting from the spraying of agglomerated powder presentd less efficiency. That was mainly explained by the significant phase transformation from anatase to rutile that occurred in the enthalpic source during the spray processes.