Self-Cleaning Concrete To Fight Pollution

Scientists have developed “smart" building materials designed to wash pollutants off the surface and clean the air.
July 22, 2005, 12pm PDT | Abhijeet Chavan
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Using technology already available for self-cleaning windows and bathroom tiles, scientists hope to paint up cities with materials that dissolve and wash away pollutants when exposed to sun and rain. The Swedish-Finnish project is developing catalytic cement and concrete products coated with titanium dioxide, a compound often used in white paint and toothpaste that can become highly reactive when exposed to ultraviolet light. UV rays hitting titanium dioxide would trigger a catalytic reaction that destroys the molecules of pollutants, including nitrogen oxides, which are emitted in the burning of fossil fuels and create smog when combined with volatile organic compounds.

Thanks to Dan Malouff

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Published on Thursday, July 21, 2005 in The Washington Post
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