Photocatalytic paints, a great solution to eliminate bacteria and contaminants

Paints and photocatalytic products constitute an ecological, passive and economic system to eliminate contaminants, dirt and save maintenance and cleaning costs. From Myphor Special Materials they make available to the population and institutions the possibility of using these products to maintain a healthier environment.

We are currently facing a global emergency motivated by the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). But despite being something really alarming, it is not a unique and isolated event in history with the ability to put us in a critical situation, since previously there have been epidemics such as Avian Flu, SARS, ZIKA, MERS or EBOLA.

Photocatalytic paints are completely standard. They are acrylic, water-based paints, and do not contain any toxic compound in their formulation. Anyone can use them in their home exactly like other kinds of paints.


These paints are the best solution to paint in environments sensitive to people’s health, such as hospitals, schools, doctor’s offices, public and office buildings or the home, since in the absence of light they behave like high-quality paints, and in The presence of it (both natural and artificial light) are immediately activated and permanently provide the elimination of all organic and harmful compounds in the environment, as well as bad odors.

As a result, the environment is much healthier and helps to prevent the spread of infection.

The photocatalytic process

In nature itself there is a natural process called photocatalysis in which a substance, called a photocatalyst, uses the energy of light to remove harmful and polluting compounds. This process is actually a chemical oxidation reaction derived from the joint action of the photocatalyst, oxygen and light.

Products called photocatalytic incorporate certain catalytic compounds, generally titanium dioxide (TiO2), to take advantage of this feature. By means of this reaction, these products, when activated in the presence of light and coming into contact with the environment, decompose polluting organic and inorganic substances

Substances it removes

Photocatalysis is very effective, and can remove organic substances such as microbes, viruses, fungi and bacteria, and PM2.5, PM5 and PM10 fine particles. It is also capable of removing toxic substances and polluting gases such as Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Sulfur Oxides (SOx), Carbon Monoxide and Formaldehyde, Methanol, Ethanol, Benzene, Toluene, etc.

Natural process

Photocatalysis requires light energy to activate. Natural light, fluorescent, and incandescent light bulbs are, in this order, suitable for activating surfaces.

Black Light (known as UV-A or ultraviolet light) and LEDs that emit in the visible-violet range (385 – 390 nm) are optimal for perfect activation. Even a minimum power (0.01 Watt / m2) of this type of light is capable of removing up to 100% of the biological load from the treated surfaces

The elimination process occurs permanently and from the first moment, as soon as light is received.

Surfaces treated with a photocatalytic product use the energy of light to continuously produce radicals on these surfaces, such as:

Hydroxyl Radicals: also called “detergents” in the atmosphere because they react with most pollutants, decomposing them naturally by oxidation, and acting as the fundamental stage of their elimination. They also play an important role in eliminating some of the greenhouse gases.

Pyroxyl Radicals: As active as ozone, they are the precursors of hydrogen peroxide, one of the most important disinfectants, used for the destruction of bacteria, viruses and fungi in medicine and pharmacy.

Laboratory results

In laboratory tests, up to 100% reduction in ATP measurements is obtained after 40-60 minutes on correctly illuminated surfaces.

Advantages of using photocatalytic products

Firstly, they have the ability to reduce odors, precisely due to the resistance to adherence of particles or organic substances on the application surfaces of these products.

It also reduces to a minimum the presence of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.) by destroying the substances they feed on. Photocatalytic surfaces prevent the growth of microorganisms and do not allow the substances they feed on to accumulate. Therefore they are very effective against the aggressions of viruses, bacteria, fungi and microorganisms in general.

The results of this action are supported by the numerous measurements made in buildings and infrastructures and by the results obtained in specialized laboratories.

Efficacy of our products fighting viruses

Since the utbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was recognized in southern China in late February 2003, a large number of chemical disinfectants have been used in the epidemic area, causing public concern about human health. and the environment.

The use of light-reinforced semiconductor minerals is an alternative to conventional chemical disinfectants (Hong He a, 2004).

The set of minerals chosen by our company have been studied over the years for their antibacterial properties ((Wei C, 1994); (Watts RJ, 1995); (Kikuchi, 1997); (Cho M, 2005); (Benabbou, 2007); (Page, 2007)) and are attributed to the generation of ROS, especially free radicals of hydroxyl (HO) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) (Kikuchi, 1997), as well as various experiments focused on the study of the inactivating properties of viruses (Liga & Bryant, 2011).

A study to highlight part of the Hong He study carried out with the inactivation of Coronavirus, is that of Mannekarn et al, in 2007, which showed that certain semiconductor minerals that had been irradiated with visible light (VL) inactivated rotavirus, astrovirus and feline calicivirus. (FCV). Viral concentrations were drastically reduced after exposure for 24 hours. This finding implied that the catalyst products could somehow initially interact with viral proteins in the virus inactivation process. Furthermore, he shows in his article a partial degradation of the rotaviral dsRNA genome. He also observed that, as with bacteria, reactive oxygen species such as superoxide anions (O2-) and hydroxyl radicals (· OH) were generated in a significant amount after stimulation for 8, 16 and 24 hrs. In conclusion, it establishes that the inactivation of viruses, as well as microorganisms in general, could occur through the generation of O2 and OH, followed by damage to the viral protein and the genome (Niwart Maneekarn, 2007).

After an exhaustive search for minerals with these capacities, the optimal concentrations and synergies of these, ACTIVA is manufactured, a liquid treatment for all types of installations, based on harmless, non-degradable semiconductor minerals, which in combination with a source Light (natural or artificial) permanently eliminates any type of virus, bacteria or fungus. ACTIVA likewise, contains components to guarantee the adhesion of these minerals and provide a treatment durability of approximately three years.

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Benabbou, A. D. (2007). Photocatalytic inactivation of Escherichia coli- effect of concentration of TiO2 and microorganism, nature and intensity of UV irradiation. Applied Catalysis B-Environmental 76 (3-4), 257-263.

Cho M, C. H. (2005). Different inactivation behaviors of ms-2 phage and Escherichia coli in TiO2 photocatalytic disinfection. . Appl Environ Microbiol 71 (1), 270-275.

Hong He a, *. X. (2004). Catalytic inactivation of SARS coronavirus, Escherichia coli. Elsevier, 170-172.

Kikuchi, Y. S. (1997). Photocatalytic bactericidal effect of TiO2 thin films: dynamic view of the active oxygen species responsible for the effect. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry 106, 51-56.

Liga, M. V., & Bryant, E. (2011). Virus inactivation by silver doped titanium dioxide nanoparticles for drinking water treatment. Elsevier, 535-544.

Niwart Maneekarn, W. E. (2007). Photocatalytic inactivation for diarrheal viruses by visible-light- catalytic titamium oxide. Clin. Lab., 413-421.

Page, K. P. (2007). Titania and silver Titania composite films on glass-potent antimicrobial coatings. Journal of Materials Chemistry 17 (1), 94-104.

Watts RJ, K. S. (1995). Photocatalytic inactivation of coliform bacteria and viruses in secondary wastewater effluent. Water Res 29 (1), 95-100.

Wei C, L. W. (1994). Bactericidal activity of TiO2 photocatalyst in aqueous media: toward

Rehabilitation in the center of Paris

The company CARMINE S.A, using the photocatalytic technologies of ACTIVE WALLS SL, has achieved a spectacular result in the rehabilitation of an emblematic building in the center of Paris, doing a job without any negative impact on the environment.

The rehabilitation of the number 16 of the Rue Turbigo has been realized with zero CO2 emissions, thanks to the use of ECO-ACTIVA® technology, developed to guarantee the optimal protection of buildings by photocatalytic reaction and which only needs light to activate and make our environment a healthier environment.

Furthermore, our PHOTOPROTECT® product, does not modify the appearance or color of the building and contributes to its maintenance, since in addition to working to purify the air it also destroys dirt on surfaces, thus reducing the maintenance costs of any public building or private, keeping its appearance for many more years.

Activa Spot 2017 (spanish)

Activa products for indoor, advantages, in Spanish

Why do not we believe in danger because of pollution?

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Via La Vanguardia

Photocatalysis, or how wall paint can remove contamination (spanish)

En el mes de julio, una vez más, las alarmas se disparaban por los altísimos niveles de contaminación registrados en el aire de Madrid. Las autoridades se planteaban restringir el tráfico mientras pedía a los ciudadanos que utilizasen el transporte público para intentar controlar la cantidad de partículas nocivas suspendidas en el ambiente.

La capital suele ser escenario de este tipo de crisis, pero no es el único lugar en España donde la contaminación urbana es un problema que afecta a la salud de los ciudadanos. Según algunos estudios, el gasto sanitario a causa de la contaminación equivale a entre un 2 y un 4 % del PIB.

Como comenta David Almazán, presidente de la Asociación Ibérica de la Fotocatálisis, lo ideal para resolver este problema sería que todos dejásemos el coche en casa y nos moviésemos en bicicleta. Pero visto que esto no será un cambio rápido ni sencillo, él defiende la tecnología como medio para paliar una situación que pone en riesgo nuestra salud.

Fotocatálisis, una reacción química que neutraliza la contaminación

Para ello, explica, la fotocatálisis es una apuesta sencilla, eficaz y asequible. Se trata de aprovechar una reacción química entre varios elementos de forma que los gases contaminantes se conviertan en otro producto, más fácil de procesar y eliminar, reduciendo su presencia en el aire.

La fotocatálisis es una reacción de oxidación que se produce cuando coinciden tres factores: dióxido de titanio (que actúa como catalizador), oxígeno y luz, ya sea ultravioleta o luz visible

La fotocatálisis es una reacción de oxidación que se produce cuando coinciden tres factores: dióxido de titanio (que actúa como catalizador), oxígeno y luz, ya sea ultravioleta o luz visible. Cuando tiene lugar, la reacción neutraliza los óxidos de nitrógeno (NOx), uno de los gases contaminantes más habituales en las ciudades, que proviene de las emisiones del tráfico. Es similar a la fotosíntesis de las plantas, que cuando reciben luz pueden transformar el dióxido de carbono en oxígeno.

Almazán explica que puesto que en España tenemos muchísimas horas de luz al año y que el oxígeno está presente en el aire de forma natural, lo que se puede hacer para aprovechar el efecto de purificación del aire en las ciudades es aplicar el dióxido de titanio a los elementos urbanos: se puede incorporar al cemento, utilizarlo en formato espray para rociar mobiliario urbano o el asfalto, o mezclarlo con pintura y cubrir con ello las fachadas o cubiertas de los edificios.

“El asfalto, las aceras, los cristales, las farolas… Cualquier superficie es susceptible de convertirse en fotocatalítica”, cuenta Almazán. Además mantiene los objetos visiblemente más limpios, ya que evita el crecimiento de bacterias y hongos, y tiene un efecto deodorante. Y no solo en el exterior, también en el interior de casas, oficinas, escuelas, hospitales y otros recintos cerrados la fotocatálisis puede tener su aplicación.

En interiores, este polvo se barre o se aspira como el polvo común, con la ventaja de que al ser más pesado llega antes al suelo, disminuyendo así las probabilidades de respirarlo

Como toda reacción química, la fotocatálisis no elimina sin más una sustancia, sino que la transforma, en un proceso que genera además una serie de residuos o subproductos. En este caso, los óxidos de nitrógeno desaparecen y se obtienen nitritos y nitratos, compuestos basados en el nitrógeno, que aparecen como sales, como un polvo algo pesado que se deposita en el suelo. “En interiores, este polvo se barre o se aspira como el polvo común, con la ventaja de que al ser más pesado llega antes al suelo, disminuyendo así las probabilidades de respirarlo”, explica Almazán.

En exteriores, los nitritos y nitratos se retiran o bien con la lluvia o con la acción de los equipos urbanos de limpieza. En ambos casos, terminan llegando a los puntos de depuración de aguas, donde se procesan como cualquier otra partícula. No hay mayor dificultad ni encarece los precios. Es, por decirlo de alguna forma, un modo de hacer la contaminación y más tangible y, por tanto, más fácil de eliminar de nuestro entorno.

Aceras y asfalto catalíticos en Madrid y Barcelona

La fotocatálisis lleva años empleándose de forma habitual en otros países, como Japón o Italia, y, aunque con dificultades y a paso lento, ha aterrizado en España donde su potencial es enorme. Esta misma semana comienzan las obras en el distrito de Villaverde, en Madrid, para instalar entre 50.000 y 60.000 metros cuadrados de pavimento fotocatalítico, y en la Avenida Diagonal de Barcelona ya están en marcha los trabajos para colocar 25.000 metros cuadrados de acera fotocatalítica.

“El precio de estos materiales es ligeramente más alto que el de sus homólogos no fotocatalíticos, claro, pero hay que tener en cuenta el ahorro que supone en gasto sanitario”, cuanta Almazán, que lamenta que la situación económica, en especial la crisis de los ayuntamientos, esté ralentizando el desembarco de esta tecnología en España. “Si estuviésemos en 2001 esta tecnología se utilizaría ya en todas partes”.

El precio de estos materiales es ligeramente más alto que el de sus homólogos no fotocatalíticos, claro, pero hay que tener en cuenta el ahorro que supone en gasto sanitario

Almazán preside la Asociación Ibérica de Fotocatálisis, de la que forman parte tanto empresas productoras como organismos científicos, entre ellos el CSIC. Como actividad profesional, es directivo de Eptisa, una empresa dedicada entre otras cosas a realizar controles de calidad de estos productos. En los últimos dos años han testado más de 150 muestras, y asegura que su calidad no deja de aumentar.

Por ahora, a nivel doméstico, la fotocatálisis está al alcance de cualquiera: se puede comprar pintura fotocatalítica para las paredes en cualquier superficie comercial dedicada al bricolaje por aproximadamente 10 euros el litro. “Lo ideal sería que no nos hiciese falta, claro”, concluye Almazán, pero hasta entonces, es una forma eficaz de conseguir un aire más limpio.



Rocío P. Benavente.

Notícia original piublicada en

The Barcelona City Council adopts the photocatalytic products in the pavement bidding documents

The Barcelona City Council adopts the photocatalytic products in the pavement bidding documents

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New paving materials to reduce emissions and environmental noise

The main lines of action focus on the use of recycled materials, the reduction of emissions to the atmosphere in the manufacture of pavements, reduction of environmental noise due to road traffic and atmospheric decontamination through a chemical process called photocatalysis.

Read all the news here. (spanish)

Indoor Air Quality Center China

Indoor Air Quality Information Center China has accepted our products as ecological products, decontaminants, odorcontrol and highly recommended for construction.