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J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2005 Aug;32(8):364-70. Epub 2005 Sep 29.

Enhanced photocatalytic inactivation of bacterial spores on surfaces in air.

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Solar Energy and Energy Conversion Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.


TiO(2) photocatalysis with ultraviolet (UV-A) light has proven to be a highly effective process for complete inactivation of airborne microbes. However, the overall efficiency of the technology needs to be improved to make it more attractive as a defense against bio-terrorism. The present research investigates the enhancement in the rate of destruction of bacterial spores on metal (aluminum) and fabric (polyester) substrates with metal (silver)-doped titanium dioxide and compares it to conventional photocatalysis (TiO(2) P25/+UV-A) and UV-A photolysis. Bacillus cereus bacterial spores were used as an index to demonstrate the enhanced disinfection efficiency. The results indicate complete inactivation of B. cereus spores with the enhanced photocatalyst. The enhanced spore destruction rate may be attributed to the highly oxidizing radicals generated by the doped TiO(2).

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