Unraveling the mechanisms of room-temperature catalytic degradation of indoor formaldehyde and its biocompatibility on colloidal TiO2-supported MnOx-CeO2

Haiwei Li, Tingting Huang, Yanfeng Lu, Long Cui, Zhenyu Wang, Chaofeng Zhang, Shuncheng Lee, Yu Huang, Junji Cao, Wingkei Ho

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


This work overcomes the limitations in room-temperature and moisture-dependent activity of transition metal oxide-based catalysts for sub-ppm formaldehyde removal. The active site exposure and self-assembly hydrophilicity were highlighted in MnOx-CeO2(MCO) nanospheres after the loading of colloidal 2.1 wt% TiO2particles (TO-MCO). Approximately 57% (relative humidity = 72%) and 41% (dry air) recycling catalytic activities at 35 °C were achieved. Our results proved that surface electron transfer, which was previously weakened because of the loss of surface oxygen species and unsuitable defect-site depositions of low active ions, in the MCO catalyst was recovered via the dispersion of hydrophilic Ti-O groups. This electron transfer was also strongly correlated with the specific surface area, porosity, and oxidation states of transition metals. The greater active site exposure derived from the cyclic electron transfer eventually enhanced the HCHO chemisorption and participation of oxygen species on the surface of TO-MCO throughout the bimetallic (Mn-Ce) dismutation reactions. The abundant superoxide radicals that were activated by these oxygen species prompted a nucleophilic attack on carbonyl bonds. Direct photoionization mass spectrometry determined formic acid, dioxirane (minor), and HOCH2OOH (little) as intermediates governing the HCHO selectivity to CO2. The cytotoxicity of catalysts exposed to yeast cells was evaluated for their potential environmentally friendly application indoors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1130-1139
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science: Nano
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this