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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 970182, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/970182
Research Article

New Surface Properties in Porcelain Gres Tiles with a Look to Human and Environmental Safety

1Dipartimento di Chimica, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Golgi 19, 20133 Milan, Italy
2Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale per la Scienza e Tecnologia dei Materiali, Via G. Giusti 9, 50121 Florence, Italy
3Dipartimento di Chimica and NIS Centre of Excellence, Università degli Studi di Torino, Via P. Giuria 7, 10125 Turin, Italy
4Dipartimento di Chimica, Materiali e Ingegneria Chimica “Giulio Natta”, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, 20133 Milan, Italy
5GranitiFiandre S.p.A, Via Radici Nord 112, 42014 Castellarano, Italy

Received 23 February 2012; Accepted 16 July 2012

Academic Editor: Wilson Acchar

Copyright © 2012 C. L. Bianchi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Traditional photocatalysis is here brought forward for both the use of nanosized TiO2 crystallites and the possibility to have a release of TiO2 particles during the final use of the manufactured products. In the present paper both the preparation and characterization of a new generation of photocatalytic tiles are presented. The originality of these products is the surface presence of microsized TiO2 as it is not clear yet the impact of the nanoparticles on both human and environmental safety. TiO2 is here mixed with a silica compound and the final thermal treatment at 680°C allows the complete surface vitrification which, in turn, makes the tiles surface strongly resistant to abrasion. Photocatalytic efficiency towards the degradation of NO𝑥 in gas phase was measured in both a batch and a plug-flow reactor. The latter reactor configuration was also modeled by digital simulations.