The subject of the offer is a bifunctional carbon-oxide composite with a core-shell structure dedicated to the elimination of volatile organic compounds from anthropogenic sources, such as paintshops, industrial plants, fuel refineries.
Volatile Organic Compounds
Among all the anthropogenic pollutants of Earth atmosphere, the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is one of the most severe threats to the natural terrestrial ecosystem as well as human health. VOCs take part in photochemical reactions, and - what is worse - many of them exhibit carcinogenic and mutagenic properties. The level of VOC emissions can be reduced by permanent monitoring of their anthropogenic sources and implementation of appropriate methods which allow to diminish their concentrations. There are two approaches to VOCs emission abatement: the primary methods focused on minimizing of the concentrations of VOCs in exhaust gases, while the secondary techniques have been developed to the removal of VOCs from these gases. The latter group includes the family of non-destructive techniques with possible recovery of particular VOCs on one hand or neutralization (destructive techniques, usually - total oxidation) of VOCs contained in polluted gas streams, on the other one. As far, the most commonly used techniques are thermal and catalytic oxidation, adsorption, condensation and membrane separation.
The present invention refers to the synthesis of a new type of carbon-inorganic core-shell composite material whose components are functionalized in two ways: the core towards maximum adsorption of volatile organic compounds, and the shell as a catalyst of thermal oxidation of VOCs desorbing from the core. A pioneering concept of the synthesis of spherical, porous carbon material (adsorption component) encapsulated in the inorganic oxide layer (support of the catalytically active phase) was developed. The tests of the effectiveness of work of the synthesized system in the adsorption of VOCs combined with catalytic incineration were carried out using toluene as a representative of aromatic VOCs.
The most important advantages of the technology:
- obtaining a bifunctional material through appropriate selection of its components, what can be described as follows: core - adsorption; inorganic oxide - support and "shield" avoiding the deactivation (gasification) of the core; active phase - VOC oxidation during desorption;;
- the inorganic oxide layer playing the role of the support of the active phase avoid additionally the unfavorable deactivation of the porous carbon and increases the exposure of the active phase particles;
- the possibility of the use of the material for the elimination of volatile organic compounds working in adsorption-catalytic cycles carried out at low (20-100 °C) and high temperatures (above 150 °C);
- the ability to control the type and amount of surface functional groups of the carbon core allowing the selective adsorption of polar or non-polar volatile organic compounds.
The offered solution is subject of a patent application. Further development of the invention is conducted at the Faculty of Chemistry of the Jagiellonian University. Currently, the Centre for Technology Transfer CITTRU is looking for entities interested in licensing and application of the technology described above.