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Scrubbing of contaminants from contaminated air streams with aerogel materials with optional photocatalytic destruction

United States Patent

June 27, 2000
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Disclosed is a method for separating a vaporous or gaseous contaminant from an air stream contaminated therewith. This method includes the steps of: (a) passing said contaminated air into a contact zone in which is disposed an aerogel material capable of selecting adsorbing said contaminant from air and therein contacting said contaminated air with an aerogel material; and (b) withdrawing from said zone, air depleted of said contaminant. For present purposes, "contaminant" means a material not naturally occurring in ambient air and/or a material naturally occurring in air but present at a concentration above that found in ambient air. Thus, the present invention scrubs (or treats) air for the purpose of returning it to its ambient composition. Also disclosed herein is a process for the photocatalytic destruction of contaminants from an air stream wherein the contaminated air stream is passed into a control cell or contact zone in which is disposed a photocatalytic aerogel and exposing said aerogel to ultraviolet (UV) radiation for photocatalytically destroying the adsorbed contaminant, and withdrawing from said cell an exhaust air stream depleted in said contaminant.
Attia; Yosry A. (Columbus, OH)
08/ 569,709
December 8, 1995
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention, in part, was made with Government support under Grant No. DE FG51-92R020214, awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The Government may have certain rights in this invention.