What is photocatalysis? How can it be used for sanitizing purposes? Is it active against viruses?
We take stock of it by updating it to the pandemic situation created with the outbreak of
COVID-19 due to the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. A short report of how surfaces and construction
products can be functionalized to obtain effective results to improve the environment in which we live
After a brief description of what a virus is, we will describe the photocatalysis and the possible mechanisms
that trigger with it, for the degradation of microorganisms. Then, some currently available
technical and commercial solutions (materials and devices) will be explained. Finally, an overview of
existing standards on photocatalysis is also given.
Based on the literature analysed, it seems clear that photocatalysis is an effective solution for the initial
inactivation and the following degradation of viruses, provided that there are adequate light (irradiation)
conditions, favourable environmental conditions (temperature, relative humidity) and suitable
type/quantity of photocatalyst capable of interacting and accelerating the chemical-physical processes
needed for the purpose.
This provides the opportunity to use new disinfectants in public environments, such as public toilets,
schools, hospitals, stations, airports, hotels, shopping centers, or public transportation, which are ideal
places for the transmission of pathogens.