Improvement of the depolluting and self-cleaning abilities of air lime mortars with dispersing admixtures
Lime mortar
NO removal
Issue Date: 
Gonzalez-Sanchez JF, Taşcı B, Fernandez JM, Navarro-Blasco I, Alvarez JI. Improvement of the depolluting and self-cleaning abilities of air lime mortars with dispersing admixtures. J. Cleaner Prod., 2021, 292, 126069:1-17
The aim of this study is to develop new air lime mortars with enhanced photocatalytic depolluting and self-cleaning abilities. Nanosilica, as pozzolanic mineral admixture, was used to improve the strength of mortars, whereas nanotitania (TiO2) was added to impart photocatalytic properties. At the same time, five different dispersing admixtures –superplasticizers– were added in bulk to the mortars to enhance the photocatalytic activity by reducing the rate of charge carrier recombination. Four polycarboxylate-based derivatives and a polynaphthalene sulfonate were tested aiming to achieve an efficient charge separation. In order to increase the lasting of the mortars subjected to water movements, sodium oleate was also added as a water repellent agent. Since the photoinduced hydrophilicity, responsible for the self-cleaning effect, might be affected by the water repellent, the compatibility between this admixture and the photocatalytic performance of the nanotitania was also investigated. Results showed that photocatalytic activity was improved due to the action of the superplasticizers as indicated by an average 33% increase of NO degradation, which is significant to the depolluting activity of these mortars. Furthermore, these mortars also showed a greatly reduced release of intermediate toxic compounds, mainly NO2: the selectivity factor (NOx/NO) reached values up to 87%. The self-cleaning ability, studied through dye degradation, of the mortars with SPs was also enhanced around 1.2 times. Three of the polycarboxylate-based superplasticizers enhanced the photosensitization of the dye under visible light irradiation, resulting in faster decolouring kinetics. In connection with the self-cleaning performance, these same SPs preserved the photoinduced hydrophilicity of the lime mortars, reaching good wettability of the surface of the mortars (water contact angles of ca. 10º), even in the presence of the sodium oleate, proving the compatible characteristics of the admixtures and allowing obtaining a new range of actively depolluting lime mortars.

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