(19)
(11)EP 1 680 216 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
28.05.2008 Bulletin 2008/22

(21)Application number: 04784188.7

(22)Date of filing:  16.09.2004
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B01J 21/20  (2006.01)
B01D 53/96  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2004/030239
(87)International publication number:
WO 2005/030387 (07.04.2005 Gazette  2005/14)

(54)

ENHANCED PHOTOCATALYTIC OXIDATION AIR PURIFICATION SYSTEM

VERBESSERTES LUFTREINIGUNGSSYSTEM MIT PHOTOKATALYTISCHER OXIDATION

SYSTEME DE PURIFICATION D'AIR A OXYDATION PHOTOCATALYTIQUE AMELIORE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HU IE IT LI LU MC NL PL PT RO SE SI SK TR

(30)Priority: 25.09.2003 US 671046

(43)Date of publication of application:
19.07.2006 Bulletin 2006/29

(73)Proprietor: CARRIER CORPORATION
Farmington, Connecticut 06034-4015 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • OBEE, Timothy, N.
    South Windsor, CT 06074 (US)
  • HAY, Stephen, O.
    South Windsor, CT 06074 (US)

(74)Representative: Booth, Catherine Louise 
Frank B. Dehn & Co. St Bride's House 10 Salisbury Square
London EC4Y 8JD
London EC4Y 8JD (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A- 0 798 143
US-A- 5 835 840
  
  • PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN vol. 1998, no. 10, 31 August 1998 (1998-08-31) & JP 10 137330 A (SANYO ELECTRIC CO LTD), 26 May 1998 (1998-05-26)
  • PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN vol. 2003, no. 02, 5 February 2003 (2003-02-05) & JP 2002 292235 A (HOYA CORP), 8 October 2002 (2002-10-08)
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



[0001] The present invention relates generally to an air purification system that determines the optimal wavelength of microwaves that are emitted to desorb water based on the humidity level or temperature of air in the air purification system.

[0002] Indoor air can include trace amounts of contaminants, including carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds such as s formaldehyde, toluene, propanal, butene, and acetaldehyde. Absorbent air filters, such as activated carbon, have been employed to remove these contaminants from the air. As air flows through the filter, the filter blocks the passage of the contaminants, allowing contaminant free air to flow from the filter. A drawback to employing filters is that they simply block the passage of contaminants and do not destroy them.

[0003] Titanium dioxide has been employed as a photocatalyst in an air purifier to destroy contaminants. When the titanium dioxide is illuminated with ultraviolet light, photons are absorbed by the titanium dioxide, promoting an electron from the valence band to the conduction band, thus producing a hole in the valence band and adding an electron in the conduction band. The promoted electron reacts with oxygen, and the hole remaining in the valence band reacts with water, forming reactive hydroxyl radicals. When a contaminant adsorbs onto the titanium dioxide photocatalyst, the hydroxyl radicals attack and oxidize the contaminants to water, carbon dioxide, and other substances.

[0004] Water and contaminants compete for adsorption sites on the photocatalyst. As there is a much greater concentration of water than contaminants, water has a greater probability of occupying a given adsorption site on the photocatalyst. For example, there are thousands of ppmv for water vapor and much less than one ppmv for a contaminant. Additionally, water forms hydrogen bonds on the photocatalyst that are much stronger than the van der Waals forces that retain a contaminant on the photocatalyst. Water that adsorbs onto the photocatalyst blocks access of the contaminants to the photooxidation sites on the photocatalyst, inhibiting photooxidation of the contaminants.

[0005] Photocatalytic activity of the photocatalyst is maximized at about 5 to 30% relative humidity, most preferably at 15% relative humidity. As humidity increases from this range, there is a steep decrease in the photocatalytic rate. For example, at a relative humidity of 60%, the photocatalytic rate decreases by a factor of two.

[0006] Microwaves can be employed to maintain an optimal photooxidation rate of the contaminants in a humid atmosphere. Microwaves selectively desorb water molecules from the photocatalyst, freeing the photooxidation sites so they can absorb contaminants. However, different wavelengths and intensities of microwaves are effective at different humidity or temperature levels. Therefore, the optimal wavelength or intensity of microwaves can change as the humidity or temperature level changes.

[0007] Hence, there is a need in the art for a system that determines the optimal wavelength or intensity of microwaves to desorb water based on the humidity or temperature level in the air purification system. A prior art system is described in JP-A-10 137 330.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



[0008] A fan draws air into an air purification system. The air flows through an open passage or channel of a honeycomb. The surface of the honeycomb is coated with a titanium dioxide photocatalytic coating. An ultraviolet light source positioned between successive honeycombs activates the titanium dioxide coating.

[0009] When photons of the ultraviolet light are absorbed by the titanium dioxide coating, an electron is promoted from the valence band to the conduction band, producing a hole in the valence band. The electrons in the conduction band are captured by oxygen. The holes in the valence band react with water that is adsorbed on the titanium dioxide coating, forming reactive hydroxyl radicals. When a contaminant, such as a volatile organic compound, is adsorbed onto the titanium dioxide coating, the hydroxyl radical attacks the contaminant, abstracting a hydrogen atom from the contaminant and oxidizing the volatile organic compounds to water, carbon dioxide, and other substances.

[0010] A magnetron emits microwaves that desorb water absorbed onto the photocatalytic coating. Different wavelengths and intensities of microwaves are effective at different humidity or temperature levels, and the optimal wavelength or intensity of microwaves changes as the humidity or temperature level changes. The light source, the honeycomb with the photocatalytic coating, and the magnetron are located between opposing wire screens, A microwave cavity is defined by wire screens that form a surrounding enclosure.

[0011] A humidity sensor detects the humidity of the air entering the air purification system. Information about the optimal microwave wavelength and intensity for various humidity or temperature levels are stored in a memory of a microwave actuator. Based on the humidity or temperature level, the microwave actuator determines the optimal microwave wavelength or intensity. The microwave actuator sends a signal to the magnetron to emit a microwave of the desired wavelength or intensity. The microwaves are only absorbed by the water, desorbing the water from the photocatalytic coating and creating additional photooxidation sites for the contaminants.

[0012] The air purification system also includes a contaminant sensor that senses the contaminant level after the airflow passes through the honeycombs. If the contaminant sensor detects an increase in level of contaminants in the air, the contaminant sensor sends a signal to the microwave actuator to adjust the wavelength or intensity of microwaves emitted from the magnetron until the level of contaminants decreases.

[0013] These and other features of the present invention will be best understood from the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF TBE DRAWINGS



[0014] The various features and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of the currently preferred embodiment. The drawings that accompany the detailed description can be briefly described as follows:

[0015] Figure 1 schematically illustrates an enclosed environment, such as a building, vehicle or other structure, including an interior space and an HVAC system;

[0016] Figure 2 schematically illustrates the air purification system of the present invention; and

[0017] Figure 3 schematically illustrates the honeycomb of the air purification system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT



[0018] Figure 1 schematically illustrates a building, vehicle, or other structure 10 including an interior space 12, such as a room, an office or a vehicle cabin, such as a car, train, bus or aircraft. An HVAC system 14 heats or cools the interior space 12. Air in the interior space 12 is drawn by a path 16 into the HVAC system 14. The HVAC system 14 changes the temperature of the air drawn 16 from the interior space 12. If the HVAC system 14 is operating in a cooling mode, the air is cooled. Alternately, if the HVAC system 14 is operating in a heating mode, the air is heated. The air is then returned back by a path 18 to the interior space 12, changing the temperature of the air in the interior space 12.

[0019] Figure 2 schematically illustrates an air purification system 20 employed to purify the air in the building or vehicle 10 by oxidizing contaminants, such as volatile organic compounds and semi-volatile organic compounds, to water, carbon dioxide, and other substances. The volatile organic compounds c an be formaldehyde, toluene, propanal, butene, acetaldehyde, aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, aromatics, alkenes, or alkanes. The air purification system 20 can purify air before it is drawn along path 16 into the HVAC system 14 or it can purify air leaving the HVAC system 14 before it is blown along path 18 into the interior space 12 of the building or vehicle 10. The air purification system 20 can also be a stand alone unit that is not employed with a HVAC system 14.

[0020] A fan 34 draws air into the air purification system 20 through an inlet 22. The air flows through a particle filter 24 that filters out dust or any other large particles by blocking the flow of these particles. The air then flows through a substrate 28, such as a honeycomb. Figure 3 schematically illustrates a front view of the honeycomb 28 having a plurality of hexagonal open passages or channels 30. The surfaces of the plurality of open passages 30 are coated with a titanium dioxide photocatalytic coating 40. When activated by ultraviolet light, the coating 40 oxidizes volatile organic compounds that adsorb onto the titanium dioxide coating 40. As explained below, as air flows through the open passages 30 of the honeycomb 28, contaminants that are adsorbed on the surface of the titanium dioxide coating 40 are oxidized into carbon dioxide, water and other substances.

[0021] A light source 32 positioned between successive honeycombs 28 activates the titanium dioxide catalytic coating 40 on the surface of the open passages 30. As shown, the honeycombs 28 and the light source 32 alternate in the air purification system 20. That is, there is a light source 32 located between each of the honeycombs 28. Preferably, the light source 32 is an ultraviolet light source which generates light having a wavelength in the range of 180 nanometers to 400 nanometers. However, the light source 32 can also be an ozone generating lamp.

[0022] The light source 32 is illuminated to activate the titanium dioxide coating 40 on the surface of the honeycomb 28. When the photons of the ultraviolet light are absorbed by the titanium dioxide coating 40, an electron is promoted from the valence band to the conduction band, producing a hole in the valence band. The titanium dioxide coating 40 must be in the presence of oxygen and water to oxidize the contaminants into carbon dioxide, water, and other substances. The electrons that are promoted to the conduction band are captured by the oxygen. The holes in the valence band react with water molecules adsorbed on the titanium dioxide coating 40 to form reactive hydroxyl radicals.

[0023] When a contaminant is adsorbed onto the coating 40, the hydroxyl radical attacks the contaminant, abstracting a hydrogen atom from the contaminant. In this method, the hydroxyl radical oxidizes the contaminants and produces water, carbon dioxide, and other substances.

[0024] Titanium dioxide is an effective photocatalyst to oxide volatile organic compounds to carbon dioxide, water and other substances. When a contaminant is adsorbed onto the titanium dioxide coating 40, the hydroxyl radical attacks the contaminant, abstracting a hydrogen atom from the contaminant. The hydroxyl radical oxidizes the contaminants and produces water, carbon dioxide, and other substances.

[0025] Preferably, the photocatalyst is titanium dioxide. In one example, the titanium dioxide is Millennium titania, Degussa P-25, or an equivalent titanium dioxide. However, it is to be understood that other photocatalytic materials or a combination of titanium dioxide with other metal oxides can be employed, as long as they are active supports for photocatalytic function. For example, the photocatalytic materials can be Fe2O3, ZnO, V2O5, SnO2, or F2TiO3. Additionally, other metal oxides can be mixed with titanium dioxide, such a s Fe2O3, ZnO, V2O5, SnO2, CuO, MnOx, WO3, Co3O4, CeO2, ZrO2, SiO2, Al2O3, Cr2O3, or NiO.

[0026] The titanium dioxide can also be loaded with a metal oxide to further improve the photocatalytic effectiveness of the coating 40. In one example, the metal oxide is WO3, ZnO, CdS, SrTiO3, Fe2O3, V2O5, SnO2, FeTiO3, PbO, Co3O4, NiO, CeO2, CuO, SiO2, Al2O3, MnxO2, Cr2O3, or ZrO2.

[0027] Humidity has an effect on the photocatalytic performance of the coating 40. The air purification system 20 further includes a magnetron 46 that emits microwaves that desorb water vapor absorbed onto the photocatalytic coating 40. The photocatalytic performance of the photocatalytic coating 40 is affected by water vapor in air because the water and contaminants compete for adsorption sites on the photocatalyst coating 40. Water vapor that adsorbs onto the photocatalytic coating 40 prevents contaminants from adsorbing on the photocatalytic coating 40. As there is a much greater concentration of water vapor than contaminants, water has a greater probability of occupying a given adsorption site on the photocatalytic coating 40 than a contaminant. Additionally, water forms hydrogen bond on the photocatalytic coating 40 that is much stronger than the van der Waals forces that retain a contaminant on the coating 40. In one example, the air purification system 20 operates at room temperature.

[0028] The microwaves emitted by the magnetron 46 selectively desorb water from the adsorption sites on the photocatalytic coating 40, providing the contaminants with an increased number of accessible photooxidation sites and increasing the photooxidation rate. The intensity of the microwaves maintain the photooxidation rate within the optimal range.

[0029] The light source 32, the honeycomb 28 with the titanium dioxide coating 40, and the magnetron 46 are located within a microwave cavity 50 defined by wire screens 48 that form a surrounding enclosure. The wire screens 48 prevent microwaves from escaping from the microwave cavity 50. The wire screens 48 also reflect the microwaves within the microwave cavity 50. The openings in the wire screens 48 are smaller than the smallest possible microwaves wavelength to prevent the microwaves from escaping the microwave cavity 50.

[0030] The energy of the microwave field is transferred to the adsorbed water, causing the water to leave the surface of the photocatalytic coating 40. The effectiveness of this process depends on the temperature or the humidity level of the air, the microwave field strength, and the microwave wavelength. Sensors can be employed to measure the temperature or humidity. Based on these sensor readings, a microwave actuator 44 sets the intensity or microwave wavelength to achieve the optimal photooxidation rate.

[0031] The optimal photooxidation rate of the air purification system 20 is achieved and maintained by an active control strategy. A humidity sensor 41 and a temperature sensor 43 are positioned upstream of the photocatalytic coating 40 detects the humidity or temperature of the air entering the air purification system 20 through the inlet 22. The humidity sensor 41 and the temperature sensor 43 are located outside of the microwave cavity 50 to avoid any undesirable interaction between the microwaves and the humidity sensor 41 and the temperature sensor 43.

[0032] Information about the optimal microwave wavelength or intensity for various humidity or temperature levels is stored and programmed in a memory 54 of the microwave actuator 44. That is, for every humidity or temperature level, a corresponding microwave wavelength or intensity is stored in the memory 54. The humidity level detected by the humidity sensor 41 or the temperature level detected by the temperature sensor 43 are sent to the microwave actuator 44. Based on the humidity and temperature level and the information stored in the memory 54, the microwave actuator 44 determines the optimal microwave wavelength or intensity. The microwave actuator 44 sends a signal to the magnetron 46 in the microwave cavity 50 to emit a microwave of the desired wavelength or intensity.

[0033] The magnetron 46 emits microwaves having a wavelength that are absorbed by the adsorbed water molecules and not adsorbed by the photocatalytic coating 40, the honeycomb 28, the contaminants, or any other material in the air purification system 20. As the microwaves are only absorbed by the water, the water is desorbed from the photocatalytic coating 40, creating additional photooxidation sites for the contaminants. Therefore, humidity does not effect the photocatalytic coating 40, and the photocatalytic coating 40 can operate at an optimal oxidation rate two or more times greater than the oxidation rate of a system subject to humidity.

[0034] The air purification system 20 also include a contaminant sensor 52 that senses the amount of contaminants in the airflow leaving through the honeycomb 28, and therefore the performance of the air purification system 20. The contaminant sensor 52 is in communication with the microwave actuator 44. If the contaminant sensor 52 detects an increase in level of contaminants in the air exiting the honeycombs 28, the performance of the air purification system 20 decreases. The contaminant sensor 52 sends a signal to the microwave actuator 44 to adjust the wavelength or intensity of microwaves emitted from the magnetron 46. The microwave actuator 44 continually changes the wavelength or intensity of the microwaves until the contaminant sensor 52 detects that the performance of the air purification system 20 has improved. Once the contaminant sensor 52 detects that the an optimal performance of the air purification system 20 has been obtained, the microwave actuator 44 sends a signal to the magnetron 46 to continue emitting microwaves of the wavelength or intensity that generate the optimal performance. In one example, the contaminant sensor 52 is located downstream in the air purification system 20. Alternately, the contaminant sensor 52 is positioned both upstream and downstream in the air purification system 20 and a differential of a contaminant level is taken.

[0035] Although it is has been illustrated and described that the humidity sensor 41 and the temperature sensor 43 are positioned upstream of the photocatalytic coating 40, it is to be understood that the humidity sensor 41 and the temperature sensor 43 can be positioned downstream of the photocatalytic coating 40. Additionally, although microwaves have been illustrated and described, it is to be understood that radiowaves can be employed.

[0036] Reducing the effect of humidity on the photocatalytic coating 40 increases the efficiency of the air purification system 20. Therefore, the air purification system 20 can be made smaller, providing a cost savings.

[0037] After passing through the honeycombs 28, the purified air then exits the air purifier through an outlet 36. The walls 38 of the air purification system 20 are preferably lined with a reflective material 42. The reflective material 42 reflects the ultraviolet light onto the surface of the open passages 30 of the honeycomb 28.

[0038] Although a honeycomb 28 has been illustrated and described, it is to be understood that the titanium dioxide coating 40 can be applied on any structure. The voids in a honeycomb 28 are typically hexagonal in shape, but it is to be understood that other void shapes can be employed. As contaminants adsorb onto the titanium dioxide coating 40 of the structure in the presence of a light source, the contaminants are oxidized into water, carbon dioxide and other substances.

[0039] The foregoing description is only exemplary of the principles of the invention. Many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. The preferred embodiments of this invention have been disclosed, however, so that one of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that certain modifications would come within the scope of this invention. It is, therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described. For that reason the following claims should be studied to determine the true scope and content of this invention.


Claims

1. An air purification system (20) comprising:

a substrate (28); and

a photocatalytic coating (40) applied on said substrate;

a control (44) including memory (54) that stores information correlating one of a level of humidity and a level of temperature to one of a wavelength of energy and an intensity of energy;

one of a humidity sensor (41) to detect a current level of humidity and a temperature sensor (43) to detect a current temperature; and

an energy source (46) to generate one of a desired wavelength of said energy and a desired intensity of energy based on one of said current level of humidity and said current level of temperature and said information stored in said control to desorb water that adsorbs on said photocatalytic coating.


 
2. The air purification system (20) as recited in claim 1 wherein said energy is microwaves.
 
3. The air purification system (20) as recited in claim 1 wherein said energy is radiowaves.
 
4. The air purification system (20) as recited in any preceding claim wherein said photocatalytic coating (40) is titanium dioxide.
 
5. The air purification system (20) as recited in any preceding claim further including a surrounding enclosure defined by porous screens (48) defining an energy cavity (50), and said substrate (28), said photocatalytic coating (40), and said energy source (46) are located in said energy cavity.
 
6. The air purification system (20) as recited in claim 5 wherein said one of said humidity sensor (41) and said temperature sensor (43) is located outside of said energy cavity (50).
 
7. The air purification system (20) as recited in any preceding claim wherein said one of said humidity sensor (41) and said temperature sensor (43) detects one of said current level of humidity and said current level of temperature of air entering said air purification system.
 
8. The air purification system (20) as recited in any preceding claim wherein said one of said desired wavelength and said desired intensity of energy changes as said one of said current level of humidity changes and said current level of temperature changes.
 
9. The air purification system (20) as recited in any preceding claim wherein said desired wavelength of energy is absorbed by said adsorbed water and not absorbed by said photocatalytic coating (40) and said substrate (28).
 
10. The air purification system (20) as recited in any preceding claim further including a contaminant sensor (52) that senses a level of contaminants.
 
11. The air purification system (20) as recited in claim 10 wherein said contaminant sensor (52) sends said level of contaminants to said control (44) to adjust said one of said desired wavelength of energy and said intensity of energy. ,
 
12. The air purification system (20) as recited in any preceding claim further including a light source (32) to activate said photocatalytic coating (40) and said photocatalytic coating oxidizes contaminants that are adsorbed onto said photocatalytic coating when activated by said light source.
 
13. The air purification system (20) as recited in claim 12 wherein said light source (32) is an ultraviolet light source.
 
14. The air purification system (20) as recited in claim 12 or 13 wherein photons from said light source (32) are absorbed by said photocatalytic coating (40) to form a reactive hydroxyl radical that oxidizes contaminants in the presence of oxygen and water to water and carbon dioxide.
 
15. The air purification system (20) as recited in claim 12, 13 or 14 wherein said contaminants are one of a volatile organic compound and a semi-volatile organic compound including at least one of formaldehyde, toluene, propanal, butene, acetaldehyde, aldehyde, ketone, alcohol, aromatic, alkene, and alkane.
 
16. The air purification system (20) as recited in any preceding claim further including a metal oxide on said photocatalytic coating (40), and said metal oxide is at least one of WO3, ZnO, CdS, SrTiO3, Fe2O3, V2O5, SnO2, FeTiO3, PbO, Co3O4, NiO, CeO2, CuO, SiO2, Al2O3, MnxO2, Cr2O3, and ZrO2.
 
17. The air purification system (20) as recited in any preceding claim wherein said substrate (28) is an array of voids separated by a solid.
 
18. A method of desorbing water comprising the steps of:

sensing one of a current level of humidity and a current level of temperature;

determining one of a desired wavelength of energy and a desired intensity of energy based on said one of said level of humidity and said level of temperature;

emitting said one of said desired wavelength of energy and said desired intensity of energy desired wavelength of energy;

absorbing said desired wavelength of energy by said water; and

desorbing said water from a photocatalytic coating (40).


 
19. The method as recited in claim 18 further including the steps of sensing a contaminant level of contaminants and adjusting one of said desired wavelength of energy and said desired intensity of energy in response to the step of sensing said contaminant level.
 


Ansprüche

1. Luftreinigungssystem (20), aufweisend:

ein Substrat (28); und

eine fotokatalytische Beschichtung (40), die auf das Substrat aufgebracht ist;

eine Steuerung (44) mit einem Speicher (54) zum Speichern von Information, die ein Feuchtigkeitsniveau oder ein Temperaturniveau mit einer Energie-Wellenlänge oder einer Energie-Intensität korreliert;

einen Feuchtigkeitssensor (41) zum Detektieren eines aktuellen Feuchtigkeitsniveaus oder einen Temperatursensor (43) zum Detektieren einer aktuellen Temperatur; und

eine Energiequelle (46) zum Erzeugen einer gewünschten Wellenlänge der Energie oder einer gewünschten Intensität der Energie auf der Basis von dem aktuellen Feuchtigkeitsniveau oder dem aktuellen Temperaturniveau sowie der in der Steuerung gespeicherten Information, um Wasser zu desorbieren, das auf der fotokatalytischen Beschichtung adsorbiert wird.


 
2. Luftreinigungssystem (20) nach Anspruch 1,
wobei es sich bei der Energie um Mikrowellen handelt.
 
3. Luftreinigungssystem (20) nach Anspruch 1,
wobei es sich bei der Energie um Funkwellen handelt.
 
4. Luftreinigungssystem (20) nach einem der vorausgehenden Ansprüche,
wobei es sich bei der fotokatalytischen Beschichtung (40) um Titandioxid handelt.
 
5. Luftreinigungssystem (20) nach einem der vorausgehenden Ansprüche, weiterhin mit einer umgebenden Umschließung, die durch poröse Siebe (48) gebildet ist, die einen Energiehohlraum (50) bilden, und wobei sich das Substrat (28), die fotokatalytische Beschichtung (40) und die Energiequelle (46) in dem Energiehohlraum befinden.
 
6. Luftreinigungssystem (20) nach Anspruch 5,
wobei sich der Feuchtigkeitssensor (41) oder der Temperatursensor (43) außerhalb des Energiehohlraums (50) befindet.
 
7. Luftreinigungssystem (20) nach einem der vorausgehenden Ansprüche,
wobei der Feuchtigkeitssensor (41) oder der Temperatursensor (43) das aktuelle Feuchtigkeitsniveau oder das aktuelle Temperaturniveau von in das Luftreinigungssystem eintretender Luft detektiert.
 
8. Luftreinigungssystem (20) nach einem der vorausgehenden Ansprüche,
wobei sich die gewünschte Wellenlänge oder die gewünschte Intensität der Energie mit einer Änderung des aktuellen Feuchtigkeitsniveaus oder mit einer Änderung des aktuellen Temperaturniveaus verändert.
 
9. Luftreinigungssystem (20) nach einem der vorausgehenden Ansprüche,
wobei die gewünschte Wellenlänge der Energie von dem adsorbierten Wasser absorbiert wird und von der fotokatalytischen Beschichtung (40) und dem Substrat (28) nicht absorbiert wird.
 
10. Luftreinigungssystem (20) nach einem der vorausgehenden Ansprüche,
weiterhin mit einem Verunreinigungssensor (52), der ein Niveau von Verunreinigungen erfasst.
 
11. Luftreinigungssystem (20) nach Anspruch 10,
wobei der Verunreinigungssensor (52) das Niveau der Verunreinigungen an die Steuerung (44) sendet, um die gewünschte Wellenlänge der Energie oder die Intensität der Energie einzustellen.
 
12. Luftreinigungssystem (20) nach einem der vorausgehenden Ansprüche,
weiterhin mit einer Lichtquelle (32) zum Aktivieren der fotokatalytischen Beschichtung (40), wobei die fotokatalytische Beschichtung Verunreinigungen oxidiert, die bei Aktivierung durch die Lichtquelle auf der fotokatalytischen Beschichtung adsorbiert werden.
 
13. Luftreinigungssystem (20) nach Anspruch 12,
wobei es sich bei der Lichtquelle (32) um eine UV-Lichtquelle handelt.
 
14. Luftreinigungssystem (20) nach Anspruch 12 oder 13,
wobei Photonen von der Lichtquelle (32) durch die fotokatalytische Beschichtung (40) absorbiert werden, um ein reaktives Hydroxylradikal zu bilden, das Verunreinigungen in der Gegenwart von Sauerstoff und Wasser zu Wasser und Kohlendioxid oxidiert.
 
15. Luftreinigungssystem (20) nach Anspruch 12, 13 oder 14,
wobei es sich bei den Verunreinigungen um eine flüchtige organische Verbindung oder eine halbflüchtige organische Verbindung handelt, die wenigstens eine aus der Gruppe von Formaldehyd, Toluol, Propanal, Buten, Acetaldehyd, Aldehyd, Keton, Alkohol, aromatische Verbindungen, Alken und Alkan aufweist,
 
16. Luftreinigungssystem (20) nach einem der vorausgehenden Ansprüche,
weiterhin mit einem Metalloxid auf der fotokatalytischen Beschichtung (40), wobei es sich bei dem Metalloxid um wenigstens eines aus der Gruppe von WO3, ZnO, CdS, SrTiO3, Fe2O3, V2O5, SnO2, FeTiO3, PbO, CO3O4, NiO, CeO2, CuO, SiO2, Al2O3, MnxO2, Cr2O3 und ZrO2 handelt.
 
17. Luftreinigungssystem (20) nach einem der vorausgehenden Ansprüche,
wobei es sich bei dem Substrat (28) um eine Anordnung von Leerräumen handelt, die durch einen Festkörper getrennt sind.
 
18. Verfahren zum Desorbieren von Wasser, das folgende Schritte aufweist:

Erfassen eines aktuellen Feuchtigkeitsniveaus oder eines aktuellen Temperaturniveaus;

Bestimmen einer gewünschten Energie-Wellenlänge oder einer gewünschten Energie-Intensität auf der Basis des Feuchtigkeitsniveaus oder des Temperaturniveaus;

Emittieren der gewünschten Energie-Wellenlänge oder der gewünschten Energie-Intensität;

Absorbieren der gewünschten Energie-Wellenlänge durch das Wasser; und

Desorbieren des Wassers von einer fotokatalytischen Beschichtung (40).


 
19. Verfahren nach Anspruch 18,
weiterhin mit folgenden Schritten:

Erfassen eines Niveaus von Verunreinigungen und Einstellen der gewünschten Energie-Wellenlänge oder der gewünschten Energie-Intensität in Abhängigkeit von dem Schritt der Erfassung des Verunreinigungsniveaus.


 


Revendications

1. Système de purification d'air (20) comprenant :

un substrat (28) ; et

un revêtement photocatalytique (40) appliqué sur ledit substrat ; une commande (44) comprenant une mémoire (54) qui stocke des informations corrélant l'un parmi un niveau d'humidité et un niveau de température par rapport à l'une parmi une longueur d'onde d'énergie et une intensité d'énergie ;

un parmi un capteur d'humidité (41) pour détecter un niveau courant d'humidité et un capteur de température (43) pour détecter une température courante ; et

une source d'énergie (46) pour générer l'une parmi une longueur d'onde souhaitée de ladite énergie et une intensité d'énergie souhaitée basée sur l'un parmi ledit niveau courant d'humidité et ledit niveau courant de température et ladite information stockée dans ladite commande pour désorber l'eau qui adsorbe sur ledit revêtement photocatalytique.


 
2. Système de purification d'air (20) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ladite énergie est des micro-ondes.
 
3. Système de purification d'air (20) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ladite énergie est des ondes radio.
 
4. Système de purification d'air (20) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel ledit revêtement photocatalytique (40) est du dioxyde de titane.
 
5. Système de purification d'air (20) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comprenant en outre une enveloppe périphérique définie par des tamis poreux (48) définissant une cavité d'énergie (50) et ledit substrat (28), ledit revêtement photocatalytique (40) et ladite source d'énergie (46) sont situés dans ladite cavité d'énergie.
 
6. Système de purification d'air (20) selon la revendication 5, dans lequel ledit capteur parmi ledit capteur d'humidité (41) et ledit capteur de température (43) est situé à l'extérieur de ladite cavité d'énergie (50).
 
7. Système de purification d'air (20) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel ledit capteur parmi ledit capteur d'humidité (41) et ledit capteur de température (43) détecte un niveau parmi ledit niveau courant d'humidité et ledit niveau courant de température de l'air entrant dans ledit système de purification d'air.
 
8. Système de purification d'air (20) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel ladite une parmi ladite longueur d'onde souhaitée et ladite intensité d'énergie souhaitée change lorsque ledit niveau parmi ledit niveau courant d'humidité change et ledit niveau courant de température change.
 
9. Système de purification d'air (20) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel ladite longueur d'onde d'énergie souhaitée est absorbée par ladite eau adsorbée et non absorbée par ledit revêtement photocatalytique (40) et ledit substrat (28).
 
10. Système de purification d'air (20) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comprenant en outre un capteur de contaminants (52) qui détecte un niveau de contaminants.
 
11. Système de purification d'air (20) selon la revendication 10, dans lequel ledit capteur de contaminants (52) envoie ledit niveau de contaminant à ladite commande (44) pour ajuster ladite une parmi ladite longueur d'onde d'énergie souhaitée et ladite intensité d'énergie.
 
12. Système de purification d'air (20) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comprenant en outre une source de lumière (32) pour activer ledit revêtement photocatalytique (40) et ledit revêtement photocatalytique oxyde des contaminants qui sont adsorbés sur ledit revêtement photocatalytique lorsqu'il est activé par ladite source de lumière.
 
13. Système de purification d'air (20) selon la revendication 12, dans lequel ladite source de lumière (32) est une source de lumière ultraviolette.
 
14. Système de purification d'air (20) selon la revendication 12 ou 13, dans lequel les photons provenant de ladite source de lumière (32) sont absorbés par ledit revêtement photocatalytique (40) pour former un radical hydroxyle réactif qui oxyde les contaminants en présence d'oxygène et d'eau en eau et dioxyde de carbone.
 
15. Système de purification d'air (20) selon la revendication 12, 13 ou 14, dans lequel lesdits contaminants sont l'un parmi un composé organique volatil et un composé organique semi-volatil comprenant au moins l'un parmi le formaldéhyde, le toluène, le propanal, le butène, un acétaldéhyde, un aldéhyde, une cétone, un alcool, un aromatique, un alcène et un alcane.
 
16. Système de purification d'air (20) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comprenant en outre un oxyde métallique sur ledit revêtement photocatalytique (40) et ledit oxyde métallique est au moins l'un parmi WO3, ZnO, CdS, SrTiO3, Fe2O3, V2O5, SnO2, FeTiO3, PbO, Co3O4, NiO, CeO2, CuO, SiO2, Al2O3, MnxO2, Cr2O3 et ZrO2.
 
17. Système de purification d'air (20) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel ledit substrat (28) est une matrice de vide séparée par un solide.
 
18. Procédé pour désorber l'eau, comprenant les étapes suivantes :

capter l'un parmi un niveau courant d'humidité et un niveau courant de température ;

déterminer l'une parmi une longueur d'onde d'énergie souhaitée et une intensité d'énergie souhaitée basée sur ledit niveau parmi ledit niveau d'humidité et ledit niveau de température ;

émettre ladite une de ladite longueur d'onde d'énergie souhaitée et ladite intensité d'énergie souhaitée ;

absorber ladite longueur d'onde d'énergie souhaitée par ladite eau ; et

désorber ladite eau à partir d'un revêtement photocatalytique (40).


 
19. Procédé selon la revendication 18, comprenant en outre les étapes consistant à détecter un niveau de contaminants et ajuster l'une parmi ladite longueur d'onde d'énergie"souhaitée et ladite intensité d'énergie souhaitée en réponse à l'étape consistant à détecter ledit niveau de contaminants.
 




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REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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Patent documents cited in the description