The saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons present in air as a result of different chemical industries or combustion processes. These gases can be found in the exhaust gases of automobiles and as a result of combustion of natural gas in power plants. The hydrocarbon gases are considered serious air pollutants and one of the reasons of the global warming. Those gases have serious effect on human lungs and can destroy the central nervous system upon long exposure.
On the way to purify air from those gases, a research team, consists of Doctor Mohamed Hamdy in the Department of Chemistry and Professor Doctor Guido Mul at Twente University, the Netherlands, has prepared a new photocatalyst, which can eliminate short-chain hydrocarbon gases. The study is aimed to eliminate a mixture of methane, ethane, and propane as saturated hydrocarbons, and ethylene and propylene as unsaturated hydrocarbons. The experimental results have showed that 70% of the gases has been totally degraded within an area of only 6 cm2. These results open a new route to investigate further the total elimination of harmful gases to the environment.