Department of Engineering Sciences

3D printed gas-phase photocatalytic reactor

We have designed a simple setup for demonstrating photocatalytic removal of gas-phase organic pollutants. It consists of a reactor which uses 3D printed parts, off-the-shelves components, and an Arduino microcontroller for online monitoring of ethanol photo-degradation. The setup was published in the ACS Journal of Chemical Education and can be downloaded at the following link:

The photocatalytic reactor has been demonstrated at the Science festival, SciFest in Uppsala, Sweden (2013); the Science festival in Joensuu, Finland (2013), and at the Sofia Science Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria (2013)

Two gas-phase photocatalytic reactors

Briefly, the reactor consists of a cotton cloth impregnated with commercial titanium dioxide nanoparticles, which is used as a photocatalytic filter to clean air contaminated with a model pollutant. A fan forces air through the filter while it is irradiated by UV diodes from the back-side. The concentration of the air pollutant is measured online by an inexpensive and commercially available semiconductor air quality sensor. The structural parts of the reactor were 3D printed in polylactide bioplastic using a 3D printer (Velleman K8200 kit, distributed by Velleman, Inc., Gavere, Belgium).

Schematic picture of the gas-phase photocatalytic reactor

We provide all schematics, 3D printed model parts, hardware, firmware, and computer code of the reactor and control units in the files below. The device can be used for interactive learning of both gas phase photocatalysis and gas sensing, as well as for student laboratory classes for measuring e.g. air pollutants and their photo-degradation, and for demonstrating indoor air quality control in general. The experimental setup can also form the basis for a project work for chemical engineering graduate students, and it can be employed as a building block for development of other gas phase chemical reaction demonstrations.

Download Files (the files are free of charge, but please respect the authorship of the invention and refer to B. Stefanov, A. Mattsson, D. Lebrun, C. G. Granqvist, and L. Österlund, Dept. Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden, when using or publishing material which make use of it, or parts of it):

The supporting information with construction instructions of the photocatalytic setup: