Photocatalytic Destructino of VOCs in Secondhand Cigarette Smoke

EPA Contract Number: 68D50083
Title: Photocatalytic Destructino of VOCs in Secondhand Cigarette Smoke
Investigators: Jahnke, Frank
Small Business: E. Heller and Company
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 1995 through March 1, 1996
Project Amount: $65,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , SBIR - Air Pollution , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


The EPA has identified indoor air pollution (IAP) as one of the most urgent environmental issues in the US. While there are many sources of IAP, the most prevalent and difficult to address is secondhand cigarette smoke. Existing technologies are excellent at removing particulates, but are inadequate for removal of VOCs. Existing VOC removal technologies suffer from:

  1. effectiveness on only certain classes of VOCs,
  2. limited lifetimes, necessitating frequent maintenance,
  3. high operating costs and/or
  4. transfer of VOCs into the solid phase, creating wastes requiring disposal.

E. Heller & Company (EHC) is developing photocatalytic systems for the destruction of indoor air pollutants, including VOCs and gas phase inorganics such as NOx, CO and hydrogen cyanide. Photo-catalysis is a promising technology that uses UV light to drive oxidation and reduction reactions on catalyst surfaces. These reactions convert VOCs to water and carbon dioxide. EHC will apply its novel chemistries and reactor designs to the destruction of secondhand cigarette smoke. In Phase I, EHC will show that formaldehyde, acrolein, hydrogen cyanide, benzene and the PAH model phenanthrene are destroyed at sufficiently rapid rates and with no toxic byproducts. Effectiveness is reducing total hydrocarbons in actual sidestream cigarette smoke will be demonstrated.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, air emissions, engineering, chemistry., Scientific Discipline, Air, Toxics, Environmental Chemistry, VOCs, Analytical Chemistry, indoor air, Atmospheric Sciences, Environmental Engineering, Nox, hydrogen cyanide, indoor VOC compounds, ambient air, second hand smoke, Acrolein, indoor air chemistry, PAH, gas phase inorganics, tobacco, photocatalytic destruction of VOCs, cigarette smoke, hydrocarbons, environmental tobacco smoke, indoor air quality, Phenanthrene

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final