The goal of Light2CAT is to develop new, highly efficient visible-light-activated titanium dioxide for inclusion in concretes to be used in structures across the whole of Europe to improve ambient air quality independent, for the first time, of local climate conditions.
The need to improve air quality in European Countries has been identified as a major requirement to be achieved within the next decade in the effort to control climate change, a key Europe 2020 strategy, and to improve human health. Despite vigorous efforts to reduce levels of hazardous substances in the air, targets remain a challenge. One of the most valid sustainable technologies explored so far is photocatalytic concrete.
This technology is proven to reduce the amount of hazardous air pollutants up to 80 % . It also imparts self-cleaning properties to built structures which has a secondary effect of reducing harsh cleaning chemicals entering the water systems. However, the titanium oxide based photocatalytic building materials are activated by ultraviolet light so, to date, such environmental benefits are limited to countries with a high incidence of sunlight.
The concept of this project is to extend the use of photocatalytic concretes to the whole of Europe by developing materials that can also be activated by visible light .
The aim is to remove climate and seasonal considerations from the use of the materials and, through higher conversion efficiencies of the catalytic components, to reduce production costs facilitating further take up of the technology within existing markets.
The results of the project are initially focused on use within the transport infrastructure where the greatest impact is expected. The consortium is well conceived to achieve the results, comprising research centres leading research in these materials and industry partners including SMEs able to develop, demonstrate and market the new materials in the sector.