Photocatalytic disinfection for the home consumer

Reckitt is seeking photocatalytic processes, materials, and chemicals that enable disinfection by the home consumer.

Reckitt is a global consumer products company that operates a portfolio of leading household brands in nutrition, health, and hygiene. Reckitt is dedicated to developing environmentally-friendly disinfectant methods that are safe and effective for home use. One promising method is photocatalysis, the use of a catalyst to speed up chemical reactions that require light. Antimicrobial use of photocatalysis involves three components: exposure to light, a photosensitizer, and molecular oxygen. These three components combine to produce reactive oxygen species that effectively kill a wide variety of microorganisms. However, several technical challenges have prevented the widespread use of photocatalysis in consumer products. Photocatalytic activity depends on the interplay of many factors, including the photosensitizer itself, the light source (e.g., wavelength, intensity, interactions with photosensitizers), and length of exposure, which all must be optimized for safe and effective disinfection.


We are seeking to develop photocatalytic processes, chemicals, and materials that allow consumers to disinfect both soft (e.g., clothes, carpets) and hard surfaces (e.g., dishes, floors, countertops).

Solutions of interest include:

  • Photocatalytic processes that kill bacteria using light sources commonly present in homes (near UV and visible light).
  • Photocatalytic processes that produce powerful sanitizers (e.g. ClO2).
  • Combinations of photocatalytic processes with other chemicals that increase antimicrobial activity, particularly substances commonly used in cleaning products like chelants and surfactants.
  • Combinations of photocatalytic processes and other antimicrobial agents that are effective at low levels of use.
  • Photocatalytic materials that can be applied to surfaces using aqueous solutions. The solutions can contain surfactants and solvents.
  • Molecules that exhibit antibacterial benefits when used in photocatalysis.

Our must-have requirements are:

  • Photocatalysis utilizing light sources commonly present in homes (near UV and visible)
  • Antimicrobial benefit of molecules has been evaluated using standard methods
  • Materials can be applied to surfaces using aqueous solutions

See Full Details & Apply

Agency Name: 
Contact Name: 
Sola Fasunwon
Grant Amount: 
Up to $150,000 for 6-8 month proof of concept; potential to renew
Grant Location: 
External Deadline: 
Friday, April 16, 2021
Grant Type: 
Grant Area: 
Natural Science
Grant Eligibility: