The Czech Market for Photocatalytic Products Requires the Establishment of Standards!

17/09/2014 11:44

Press Release of the Czech Society for Applied Photocatalysis

www.fotokatalyza.org    

 

In cooperation with its foreign partners, the Czech Society for Applied Photocatalysis is pursuing the creation of a body of technical standards for reliable testing of the technical properties of photocatalytic products, which will allow for the granting of its certification for the Czech market and the use of photocatalysis for cleaning the environment.

In the building of the J. Heyrovský Institute for Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the Czecch Republic, an international conference, "PHOTOCATALYSIS - Standardization and Certification Assisting Commercialization," took place on September 3 and 4.  Besides exchanging experiences and findings in the area of the practical application, development, manufacturing and commercialization of photocatalytic products, special attention was paid to the question of testing, norms, standardization and certification of commercial products on the national and international levels.  The main sponsor of the activity was the Czech Society for Applied Photocatalysis, in cooperation with the J. Heyrovský Institute and the Technical University in Liberec.

The conference was preceded by a three-day meeting of a technical commission for creation of international ISO standards in the area of photocatalysis, where the Czech Republic was represented by the Office for Standardization, Metrology and Testing (ÚNMZ ) with support from the Czech Society for Applied Photocatalysis (ČSAF) as well as the executive committee of the General Assembly of the European Photocatalytic Federation (EPF), of which the ČSAF is a member.  

These two events brought to Prague not only top experts, but also representatives of firms from the leadership of the EPF and national federations, and for the first time in history made possible open discussion about how to persuade the public of the real possibilities for using intelligent photo-active surfaces to clean up the environment.

The ČSAF, in cooperation with its foreign partners, wants to speed up the creation of a body of technical standards for reliable testing of the technical properties of photocatalytic products, which will permit the introduction of their certification in the Czech market.

The meeting was attended by about seventy representatives of firms, research institutions and organizations uniting entities in the developing field of the photocatalysis industry from

Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, Austria, Spain and Great Britain.

Part of the activities of the conference was the presentation of results from the work of the firms concentrating on photocatalysis.  The firms Advanced Materials-JTJ, Blažek Glass, Mauntain Photonic and Omicron Laser GE, Pardam, Retap, Saint Gobain, Taiyo Kogyo, TOTO and others presented the results of their experience in development, production and instrumentation.

On September 5 in Liberec a lecture titled "Can Photocatalysis Help Clean the Environment?" was presented to the conference by Joerg Klefmann, a recognized world expert on monitoring and modeling in the area of cleaning the atmosphere.  The lecture took place in the meeting room of the Center for Nano-materials, Advanced Technology and Innovation, which in cooperation with the firm Teluria has been treated with a transparent composite photoactive coating, and where RETAP air cleaners have been installed.  All through August, testing of effectiveness in removing toxic gases released from construction materials and of antibacterial activity had been performed.

The results of the conference and associated activities were summed up by the President of the ČSAF, František Peterka and by Jan Procházka, the chairman of the second day of the conference and Vice-president of the ČSAF:

"Photocatalytic technology represents a new, developing industrial sector.  Japan and a number of Western European countries, as well as the Czech Republic, are among the most advanced countries in the field."

"We consider the organization of this conference and its results to be a great success and a step in the right direction toward the use of photocatalytic technology in practice.  Leading representatives of practically all existing photocatalysis organizations, which join entities focusing on production and commercialization and also research and development of photocatalytic technology, met together.  For the first time in such a representative body we had the possibility of discussing the important questions of technical standardization and certification of photocatalytic products with the aim of approximating national approaches and defining common procedures for determining emission limits that will be in force from the year 2015.  Photocatalysis and the elimination of emissions is a very appropriate addition to the reduction of emissions by traditional means."

"Certification of photocatalytic products has great importance in protecting consumers because, as some of the presenters at the conference noted, and in the experience of members of the ČSAF, a whole range of products that have nothing in common with photocatalysis, identified by testing as not just non-functional but also dangerous, are appearing on the market.  This endangers consumers, discredits quality photocatalytic products and damages responsible firms.“

"The ČSAF, in cooperation with its foreign partners, seeks to speed up the process of establishing a system of technical standardization, which will allow for certification of photocatalytic products for the Czech market.  For the moment, the absence of such a system is preventing the mass utilization of this new technology, which could greatly help in cleaning up the environment, in preventing the spread of infection and development of resistant strains of harmful bacteria, in creating a healthier interior environment in buildings and in many other practical ways.

Following the example of several West European cities like Milan, Grenoble and Madrid, the ČSAF will promote getting out of the laboratory and determining the effectiveness in real practice of photocatalytic surfaces in reducing emission of toxic gases.  The experts present at the conference agreed that only by such experiments can a solid answer be given by the responsible state institutions to current questions about the real-world contribution of photoactive surfaces, which is cleaning with light.

Not only the city of Ostrava, where the quality of the atmosphere absolutely demands the use of all available means for its improvement, but also the Ministry of Environment, are waiting for an answer as to whether photocatalysis can be used in the near future as an effective tool for the elimination of pollutants. The ČSAF can state, on the basis of the results of serious scientific testing, that its members have the most effective, patented technology available for cleaning the atmosphere in the world.  It considers it necessary to open a dialog with all parties and find financing for practical testing that will lead directly to practical uses.

 

Nothing less than the life and health of people is at stake.

 

Press release issued by the Czech Society for Applied Photocatalysis

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