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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2013, Article ID 712603, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/712603
Research Article

Release of Volatile Compounds from Polymeric Microcapsules Mediated by Photocatalytic Nanoparticles

1Centre of Physics, University of Minho, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal
2Centre of Chemistry, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
3Chemical Engineering Department, Polo II, University of Coimbra, 3030-790 Coimbra, Portugal
4LEPAE, Chemical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias s/n, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal

Received 14 January 2013; Accepted 24 January 2013

Academic Editor: Jiaguo Yu

Copyright © 2013 J. Marques 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

In this study we propose a suitable method for the solar-activated controlled release of volatile compounds from polymeric microcapsules bonded with photocatalytic nanoparticles. These reservoirs can find applications, for example, in the controlled release of insecticides, repellents, or fragrances, amongst other substances. The surfaces of the microcapsules have been functionalized with TiO2 nanoparticles. Upon ultraviolet irradiation, redox mechanisms are initiated on the semiconductor surface resulting in the dissociation of the polymer chains of the capsule wall and, finally, volatilization of the encapsulated compounds. The quantification of the output release has been performed by gas chromatography analysis coupled with mass spectroscopy.