The workers in crumb rubber, painting, solvent, and automotive industries generally spend more than 80% of their time inside the workspace dealing with hazardous chemicals. They are possibly at high risk of exposure to hazardous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) within the workspace, either in the open air or in a closed workspace. They are experienced exposure risk of H2S, NH3, and other VOCs groups from its drying process (Andriani et al., 2019).
The air quality inside the workspace currently attracting serious attention. Some of the effects of VOCs exposure to workers are headache, get tired quickly, sore throat up to mental fatigue symptoms (Obee and Brown, 1995). Therefore, it is essential to diminish or minimize these pollutants so that the ambient air quality is still safe for workers. The industry may use air pollution control integrated into its chimney. However, air pollution control integration still becomes an issue for some industries, considering their compliance to minimum prerequisites for chimney emission testing.
Several technologies were developed to eliminate benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX) contamination, through biological treatment, chemical absorption, and advanced oxidation process (AOPs) (Chakrabarti and Dutta, 2004). AOPs can degrade a BTEX by producing a reactive •OH radical, which attacked BTEX and converted it into a less dangerous compound, such as CO2, H2O, and acidic minerals [6,7]. AOPs had several advantages, such as cost-effective, safe, and able to simultaneously treating a significant number of organic compounds (Li et al., 2016) (Bervian et al., 2017). Photocatalysis technology can degrade NO, NO2, SO2, and VOCs up to 80% (Ayal, 2019)(Regonini and Clemens, 2015). One of the applications of AOPs technology was the use of semiconductor materials under UV-ray exposure or visible light, which would mineralize organic compound (Chakrabarti and Dutta, 2004). The zinc oxide (ZnO), titanium dioxide (TiO2), and tin dioxide (SnO2) semiconductors are having a relatively wide bandgap for photocatalysis (Rana et al., 2017)(Mo et al., 2009). However, the progress of BTEX degradation in solution and the effectiveness of photocatalysis performance still required many studies.
Many research uses metallic oxide plate in a photocatalytic reactor to degrade both wastewater or air pollutants. The synthesis of TiO2/Ti in the form of a thin layer net has shown that the particular anodization time and voltage applied significantly influence the resulting nanotubes morphological properties and its catalytic performance (Sugiawati et al., 2019). In this paper, we use a Ti net plate to synthesize TiO2/Ti Net Nanotube. This material was grown by electrolysis on the Ti net surface as a supporting material. The anodizing process occurred at 25 V vs Ag pseudo-reference electrode for eight hours consecutively and generated a bandgap of 3.2 eV (Djarwanti and Syahroni, 2014).
The application of photocatalysis for degradation of the VOCs needs a significant width of the contact plane so that the air or steam pollutants had a sufficient contact time with TiO2/Ti Net Nanotube. The photocatalytic performance of the TiO2/Ti Net Nanotube was evaluated by assessing the degradation of toluene steam and BTEX gas standard in the homemade gas reactor. The intermediate compound or bypass product formation, such as CO2, was detected and analyzed using an electrochemical sensor (Sari et al., 2019). The results of this study are beneficial in providing new options for material choices for photocatalytic degradation that can be applied in industry, specifically industries dealing with VOCs such as toluene and BTEX.