Transparent coatings of TiO2-SiO2 nanocomposite were developed to be applied on building facades in order to prevent growth of microorganisms and thus to improve urban building sustainability. Structure and texture characteristics of the prepared nanocomposites were determined by electron microscopy (SEM, TEM + EDS), their photocatalytic activity was quantified by testing self-cleaning ability and antimicrobial activity. The self-cleaning properties were evaluated according to the standard ISO method based on photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue. The TiO2-SiO2 nanocomposite coatings were applied on various types of substrates commonly used in building industry. The antimicrobial activity was mainly investigated for algae because these microorganisms are often responsible for facades ageing. According to the laboratory tests the prepared TiO2-SiO2 nanocomposites are highly efficient. This fact was already proved by first applications in real conditions. The transparent SiO2-TiO2 nanocomposites represent an ecological and noninvasive way how to keep nice appearance of buildings for a long time. It is due to their permanent photocatalytic activity causing self-cleaning and algicidal effects. Such coatings may significantly reduce ageing processes on facades of buildings that are caused by microbiological pollution and smog exhalations.Keywords: SiO2-TiO2 nanocomposite, photocatalysis, photocatalytic paint, self-cleaning surfaces, photocatalytic algae degradation
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