What is the physics of the photocatalytic effect?
Ultraviolet light (UV) activates TiO2 nanoparticles. At the moment when a molecule, virus, bacterium, spore etc. touches the activated TiO2 nanoparticles, they catalyze a reaction of organic matter with atmospheric oxygen. The organic matter decomposes into water and carbon dioxide molecules by that reaction. Another dose of UV radiation reactivates the nanoparticles immediately. The process repeats indefinitely. Unlike chemical agents, the photocatalytic layer is not selective to microbes but “burns” all organic substances.
Are there any side effects?
Negative effects have never been proved, while there are many positive effects. For example: clean air without odors, no musty smells (e.g. from cigarette smoke). The layer keeps a constant appearance and prolongs life of the paint. The scent track left by insects for communication purposes disappears on the photocatalytic surface. You see lower occurrence of cobwebs and deposition of grease or smoke on walls and furniture is minimized (musty film formation). Sick days is reduced by a lower content of pathogenic micro-organisms in the air.
How long does the active layer last? Can it be repainted by a new coating, or would it not be active anymore then?
The active layer has a self-cleaning ability providing that sufficient UV radiation is available. The layer does not smudge and keeps the same appearance. One can say that FN coating protects the paint and prolongs its lifespan approximately three times. Small defects can be repaired by a roller or a brush. If the layer is repainted by another paint, its function terminates and it must be spread again on the newly painted surface.
Why is the coating applied only on a ceiling? Isn’t it better to use the walls as well? Moreover, I have read that this should clean the outside air, too.
We definitely recommend treating both the ceiling and the walls. Thus the total effectiveness increases considerably. The treatment of ceilings is only suggested as an economical compromise. Taking the air circulation into account, the ceiling is the most effective surface, and in most cases it is fully sufficient to provide the air cleaning function in rooms where one does not cook nor smoke. If a photoactive layer is created on a façade, concrete barriers or other outdoor surfaces, then not only does the layer protect the surface and keep it clean, but it cleans the outside air as well.
Can you document or support the fact that the coating really works?
Of course, in addition to many tests performed in accredited medical facilities, many studies of the decomposition of various organic substances, coloring agents, fumes etc. have been undertaken by independent institutions. Many hundreds of actual realizations are the most conclusive evidence.
Why do we hear about this most considerate solution for allergic people only now? What is so revolutionary about it?
Photocatalysis has been already known for a century but it gained the importance only after the titanium dioxide nanoparticles had been synthesized. Last year, 25 years had passed since the scientific community had set about studying this phenomenon seriously. Incorporating photocatalysis into products has been an essential problem for many producers.
My daughter suffers from asthma. Can your paint help?
If the cause of your daughter’s asthma is anything of organic origin in the air (aldehydes from plastics, spores, organic substances, smoke, toxins from mites, etc.) the FN coating will definitely help.
Can the outdoor paintwork by your substance serve as a precaution against graffiti sprayers? How many square meters can I paint with one package (let’s suppose at least 5 kilograms)?
Yes, it can. We recommend use 5 layers instead of the usual 3 as an anti-graffiti protection. A highly porous hydrophilic film is created, through which the spray paint does not penetrate easily. The sprayer then needs five times more paint for their work, and what’s more, the paint can later be easily removed with a scratch tool. (The protective layer must then be restored on the scratched area, e.g. with a roller.) The usual consumption of FN® suspension is one liter per 10m2.
Can it hurt pot plants?
The opposite! Plants in flower shops where the coating has been applied actually live longer. The coating removes organic substances from the air (ethylene etc. contained even in human breath or cigarette smoke) that are a signal to the plant to age and die.
Does your paint affect mites, too?
It does not affect mites themselves but the coating removes their highly allergenic excrements from the air.
I suffer from hay fever, you can say I am allergic. Do you think that invention of yours could help me as well?
It liquidates spores bur we have no evidence about how it affects pollens.
We have a dog at home and consider him a member of our family. Will your coating hurt him? Aren’t the nanoparticles contained in it harmful to human health?
The surfaces created by FN® suspensions are completely safe to humans and animals. Titanium dioxide is contained in white-flour, bakery, dairy products and other food products. It is perfectly harmless, time-tested for a century. You can find it in all plastics, inside your fridge, in the paint on the wall, in food products, on paper, simply everywhere.
Moss grows on our roof. Does your paint help against it?
The FN1® type provides a good help for concrete roofs. It chemically kills algae, lichens and mosses and creates a layer on the concrete surface, into which the titanium dioxide nanoparticles embedded. Then photocatalysis of TiO2 prevents the sedimentation of other micro-organisms and protects and cleans the roof in the long term.
This may sound ridiculous but still, I would like to ask if streets could be cleaned from smog and other pollutants by this substance?
Your question is not ridiculous at all. One square meter of the surface treated by FN® suspensions is able to remove up to 50 kilograms/m2 of harmful substances, emitted by the traffic and industrial production of the city atmosphere. We are convinced that this is the future. Nowadays, the project called Piccada is under way in Italy and after the installation of photocatalytic sidewalks (photocatalytic concrete) in the city, the concentration of exhaust emissions decreased by 30-70%.
If this paint were applied in kindergartens or schools, would the children sickness rate decrease? Do you have any experience?
The tests performed by accredited medical institutes have positively proven that the UVA illuminated photocatalytic coating kills bacteria and especially viruses very effectively. Therefore, a reduction of pathogenic organisms in the air can be expected and thus the reduction of the risk of infection transfer can be anticipated as well. In 2008, the first kindergarten in the Czech Republic was treated by FN substance in Vinařice near Kladno. The coating was applied in the classroom for asthmatic and allergic children with immunodeficiency. According to the teachers the coatings fulfills the expectations and helps reduce the sickness rate of children.
I have seen a TV program about sanitary paintings in a hospital in Israel. Does the paint contain silver nanoparticles?
No, it does not. We have studied the silver based antibacterial systems as well. Although they are highly effective in killing bacteria in darkness, we obtained questionable results in the day light. Since the photoactive solution does not only kill bacteria but has many other attractive qualities as well, including cleaning the air of allergens and other harmful substances, we have decided to pursue this way.
How long does it take to get rid of odors in a 10m2 room?
It depends on the air-flow and the UV light intensity. The room should be clean of e.g. cigarette smoke within half an hour under usual conditions.
Can the FN coatings be used in any other way than a wall paint? Can they be used as a paintwork on wallpaper or kitchen furniture?
These paints are not washable; they can be used on suitable surfaces only, definitely not on furniture.
Is the photoactive paint suitable for stone cottages?
Yes, it is, especially if there are a fireplace, parasites or mold.
Is this paint transparent and can it be used on already painted walls?
Yes, it is semitransparent and when it is spread onto already painted walls they are then protected. Given the fact that the FN1® suspension is more transparent, we recommend that one on natural materials and roofs.
If applied inside and outside a building, how much VOC’s, Nox’s and CO’s can FN®remove from the air?
One house 100m2 X 0.1 kg/year + reduction of 10 kg/year
One church: 250m2 X 0.1 kg/year = reduction of 25 kg/year
One school: 67,000m2 X 0.1 kg/year = reduction of 6,700 kg/year
One hospital: 160,000m2 X 0.1kg/year = reduction of 16,000 kg/year
One tunnel: 62,000m2 X 0.5kg/year = reduction of 31,000 kg/year
One subway: 42,000m2 X 0.1kg/year = reduction of 4,200 kg/year
One industrial plant: 40,000m2 X 0.2kg/year = reduction of 8,000/year
RA Global’s 192 stores @ 50m2 X 0.1kg/year = reduction of 960kg/year of pollution
The numbers demonstrating the environmental Impact above also includes removal of molds and mildew, bacteria and viruses, powerful odors and blackness/graffiti on walls. These additional offenders are common among environmental disasters such as droughts, floods, bacterial or viral outbreaks, fire restoration, etc.