Gas-phase advanced oxidation for effective, efficient in situ control of pollution

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this article, gas-phase advanced oxidation, a new method for pollution control building on the photo-oxidation and particle formation chemistry occurring in the atmosphere, is introduced and characterized. The process uses ozone and UV-C light to produce in situ radicals to oxidize pollution, generating particles that are removed by a filter; ozone is removed using a MnO2 honeycomb catalyst. This combination of in situ processes removes a wide range of pollutants with a comparatively low specific energy input. Two proof-of-concept devices were built to test and optimize the process. The laboratory prototype was built of standard ventilation duct and could treat up to 850 m3/h. A portable continuous-flow prototype built in an aluminum flight case was able to treat 46 m3/h. Removal efficiencies of >95% were observed for propane, cyclohexane, benzene, isoprene, aerosol particle mass, and ozone for concentrations in the range of 0.4-6 ppm and exposure times up to 0.5 min. The laboratory prototype generated a OH * concentration derived from propane reaction of (2.5 ± 0.3) × 1010 cm-3 at a specific energy input of 3 kJ/m3, and the portable device generated (4.6 ± 0.4) × 109 cm-3 at 10 kJ/m3. Based on these results, in situ gas-phase advanced oxidation is a viable control strategy for most volatile organic compounds, specifically those with a OH* reaction rate higher than ca. 5 × 10-13 cm3/s. Gas-phase advanced oxidation is able to remove compounds that react with OH and to control ozone and total particulate mass. Secondary pollution including formaldehyde and ultrafine particles might be generated, depending on the composition of the primary pollution.


External organisations
  • University of Copenhagen
  • SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8768-8776
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Aug 5
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes