Silica wastes derived multifunctional coatings for formaldehyde photodegradation and autonomous indoor humidity buffering

Yu Rou Lin, Meng Wei Zheng, Shou Heng Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


To maintain a comfortable and healthy indoor environment without large amounts of energy consumption is of great importance. The progress of multifunctional indoor coatings with formaldehyde photodegradation and humidity buffering capability is necessary. From the viewpoints of circular economy, the preparation of effective photocatalysts (denoted as sFCC/GCN-x and ESF/GCN-y) via the decoration of recycling industrial wastes (i.e., spent fluid catalytic cracking catalysts (sFCC) and enhancement silica fume (ESF)) onto graphitic carbon nitride (GCN) by using a simple route is reported. The obtained results show that the prepared sFCC/GCN-0.15 and ESF/GCN-0.15 photocatalysts have the rate constants of formaldehyde degradation of 0.0075 and 0.0082 min−1, respectively, which are superior to that of pristine GCN (0.0044 min−1) under visible-light irradiation. The enhanced transfer kinetics of photogenerated electrons and declined recombination of electron-hole pairs may account for the surpassing photocatalytic performance. Results obtained from electron paramagnetic resonance spectra and Mott-Schottky plots indicate that the formation of ・O2 via the reaction of O2 with electrons generated on the conduction band is the major reaction pathway to photodegrade formaldehyde under visible light. To further assess the real applications of prepared photocatalysts, the sFCC/GCN-0.15 and ESF/GCN-0.15 are used to fabricate the multifunctional coatings (denoted as s- and E-coatings) with sFCC and ESF as the main compositions. Experimentally, the E-coatings could reach the formaldehyde degradation efficiency of ca. 84.5% after 3 h of visible light irradiation and excellent humidity buffering ability (293.8 g m−2) which is at least 10-folds higher than commercial coatings (28.9 g m−2). This notable progress of humidity buffering capacity on E-coatings can be attributed to their surface textural properties. Most importantly, this study exemplifies the valorization of inorganic silica wastes to produce sustainable and multifunctional coatings which may offer the practical and cost-effective applications in the indoor living space.

Original languageEnglish
Article number140118
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Nov

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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