Project details



Sustainability of photocatalytic technologies on urban pavements: From laboratory tests to in field compliance criteria

Start date: 01.10.2014

Duration: 58 months

Coordinator: IETcc-CSIC

Budget: 1.76 M€


Depending on the extent of exposure to outdoor air pollution, the negative impact on human health can range from acute health effects and minor eye irritation, to severe chronic health issues including upper respiratory symptoms, chronic respiratory diseases, asthma, cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer. Some of these diseases require hospital treatment and can be fatal. At global level, air pollution is estimated to be responsible for approximately 800 000 premature deaths each year. It is estimated that asthma has 7-10% prevalence worldwide. Recent studies have demonstrated the existence of an explicit relationship between exposure to air pollutants and cases of childhood asthma – both the occurrence of the disease and exacerbation of childhood asthma.

LIFE-PHOTOSCALING's objective is to demonstrate the validity of photocatalytic technology in urban agglomerations by establishing instruments enabling scaling-up from laboratory measurements to application in cities, by developing a decision-support tool and by assessing the sustainability of different solutions in different environments to encourage the widespread use of this technology.

LIFE-PHOTOSCALING intends to bridge the gap between research, policy and widespread implementation of the technology. Specific project activities will include:

  • Development of two demonstration platforms at an intermediate pilot-plant technical scale;
  • Technical development of a prototype for in-situ measurement of photocatalytic efficiency;
  • Development of performance indicators for evaluation of process;
  • Modelling of the photocatalytic processes;
  • Development of a decision-support tool, enabling sustainability assessment using life-cycle assessment of the proposed solutions; and
  • Validation of the tool in real conditions in the city of Madrid.

The results will be submitted as draft proposals to the European Committee for Standarisation (CEN - Technical Committee 386 "Photocatalysis"), and to other national standardisation groups.

List of achievements

Expected results:

  1. Two photocatalytic platforms made of the same representative materials in two different locations, for long-term evaluation, even beyond the end of the project;
  2. Development of a technique enabling measurement of the efficiency of photocatalytic materials;
  3. Detailed protocols explaining the procedure for measuring the operational performance of the photocatalytic materials, including effects of the contaminants, environmental conditions, efficiency and other parameters;
  4. Indicators for the evaluation of the materials and the methodology to apply them to assess the performance of the products;
  5. A decision support tool to assess the sustainability of each particular solution in different conditions (such as type of street, dominant wind or traffic load).


Contact person: Marta CASTELLOTE
Address: Instituto de Ciencias de la Construcción Eduardo Torroja (IETcc-CSIC)
Tel: +34 913020440