Photocatalytic construction and building materials: From fundamentals to applications

Jun Chen, Chi Sun Poon

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

581 Citations (Scopus)


Heterogeneous photocatalysis has been intensively studied in recent decades because it only requires photonic energy to activate the chemical conversion contrasting with conventional catalysis which needs heat for thermo-activation. Over the years, the theories for photochemical activity of photocatalyst including photo-induced redox reaction and super-hydrophilic conversion of TiO2itself have been established. The progress in academic research significantly promotes its practical applications, including the field of photocatalytic construction and building materials. TiO2modified building materials are most popular because TiO2has been traditionally used as a white pigment. The major applications of TiO2based photocatalytic building materials include environmental pollution remediation, self-cleaning and self-disinfecting. The advantage of using solar light and rainwater as driving force has opened a new domain for environmentally friendly building materials. In this paper, the basic reaction mechanisms on photocatalyst surface under the irradiation of ultraviolet and their corresponding applications in building and construction materials are reviewed. The problems faced in practical applications and the trends for future development are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1899-1906
Number of pages8
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2009


  • Air pollution control
  • Photocatalysis
  • Photocatalytic building materials
  • Self-cleaning
  • Self-disinfecting
  • Titanium dioxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


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