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New International Standards for New Test Method for Performance of Photocatalytic Materials Issued Japan's efforts to expand markets for Japanese products through strategic international standardization

Expanding markets of photocatalytic materials, a field in which Japanese manufacturers have outstanding technologies, indispensably requires the dissemination of indoor light-active photocatalytic materials. To this end, Japan submitted a proposal to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for establishing new standards for test methods for complete decomposition performance of semiconducting photocatalytic materials under indoor lighting environment - decomposition of acetaldehyde, based on the outcomes of research and development by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). In response, the ISO decided to issue new international standards for the method (ISO19652) based on Japan’s proposal. This issuance is expected to contribute to developing environments for appropriately testing the performance of products made of photocatalytic materials as well as facilitating dissemination of Japanese products of photocatalytic materials to people inside and outside Japan and to fortifying the international competitiveness of Japanese companies.

1. Background

Irradiating photocatalytic materials, mainly made from titanium dioxide (TiO2), with light provokes oxidation and reduction actions. As this work brings about a variety of effects, such as air purification and deodorization, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral actions, and self-cleaning effects, many industries, such as architecture, apply these effects to a variety of materials. In particular, such industries have been paying more attention to indoor environmental issues in recent years and thus they are advancing the utilization of photocatalytic materials for rooms.

Nevertheless, conventional photocatalytic materials respond only to ultraviolet rays and this does not bring about the full effects of these materials. To overcome this challenge, as one of its projects, NEDO started an R&D project for indoor light-active photocatalytic materials, focusing on the utilization of abundant indoor light, and finally succeeded in commercialization of practical indoor light-active photocatalytic materials as an outcome of the project.

Japan also recognized as a challenge a lack of systematic development of international standards for function-based test methods of performance of indoor light-active photocatalytic materials. To overcome this situation, Japan has been advancing efforts for developing international standards for the technology integrally with NEDO’s project.

2. Outline of new ISO standards and background to the issuance

In December 2013, Japan prepared a draft proposal for establishing new international standards for photocatalytic materials on the basis of the domestic standards of JIS R7157 (fine ceramics (advanced ceramics, advanced technical ceramics) - test method of complete decomposition by photocatalytic materials under indoor lighting environment - decomposition of acetaldehyde), and submitted the proposal to the ISO / TC206 (fine ceramics) / WG9 (photocatalysis). ISO/TC206 and its WG9 are a technical committee and a working group engaging in Japan-led activities, the secretariats and conveners of which have been served by Japan.

ISO/TC206 and its WG9 held meetings to discuss the development of the new standards. In these meetings, Japanese members from the manufacturers of photo catalysis materials, universities, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and other experts participated in these and held repeating discussions and coordination with experts from other member countries. As a result, on March 23, 2018, the ISO officially issued new international standards based on Japan’s proposal.

Highlights of the newly issued international standards (ISO 19652: Fine ceramics (advanced ceramics, advanced technical ceramics) - Test methods for complete decomposition performance of semiconducting photocatalytic materials under indoor lighting environment - Decomposition of acetaldehyde) include the following.

  • The new standards stipulate test methods for performance of indoor light-active photocatalytic materials in decomposition performance of hazardous materials, for which no international standards were established.
  • Specifically, they stipulate objective and reproducible test methods in which operators select acetaldehyde as a test subject to see the oxidation decomposition performance of indoor light-active photocatalytic materials under indoor lighting environments and they set the complete decomposition performance of the materials as a reference of the test.

3. Future actions

The issuance of the new standards is expected to contribute to developing environments in which overseas markets will appropriately evaluate the performance of Japanese products of indoor light-active photocatalytic materials and also to fortify the international competitiveness of Japanese companies in the field of such products.

In addition to this effort, Japan has been engaging in the development of Japan-oriented international standards aiming to promote standardization and industrialization of Japanese technologies overseas, in particular, in Asia, taking advantage of international frameworks, such as the Committee of Asian Standardization for Photocatalytic Materials and Products (CASP) and the Northeast Asian Security Forum (NEASF). As part of these efforts, Japan is now committed as a leader to international standardization activities for test methods of antibacterial performance of photocatalytic materials placing an eye on actual environments. Through these efforts, Japan expects that products made from photocatalytic materials will become popular worldwide and contribute to achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, including a decrease of urban air pollution and mitigation of adverse impact on urban environments.

Note: This successful international standardization is partly due to the achievements under the NEDO Project for Creation of New Industries in the Field of Photocatalytic Materials to Build Circulating Society.

Reference

Release date

April 2, 2018

Division in Charge

International Standardization Division, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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