Mexico City's New Smog-Eating Building

A new building at a Mexico City hospital has been screened with an advanced, and quite attractive, tile that breaks down the harmful pollutants in smog into less toxic substances, reports Zak Stone.
March 28, 2013, 12pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"The Torre de Especialidadesis is shielded with a facade of Prosolve370e, a new type of tile whose special shape and chemical coating can help neutralize the chemicals that compose smog: and not just a small amount of them, but the equivalent produced by 8,750 cars driving by each day," writes Stone. "The tile is the first product by Berlin-based design firm Elegant Embellishments, whose co-founder Allison Dring explained to me via email, just exactly how a 100-meter-long tile screen can suck up serious amounts of smog."

Stone explains the chemical process by which the tile's titanium dioxide paint breaks down smog "into small amounts of less noxious chemicals, including calcium nitrate (a salt used in fertilizers), carbon dioxide, and water."

As Stone notes, "[the tiles are] also beautiful, a strategic decision by Elegant Embellishments to attach the technology “to an aesthetic, to be visibly apparent to the public,” Dring offers. “The client, and indeed the general public are aware and live every day with the hazards of pollution--it’s a fairly visible problem in [Mexico City.]”

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Published on Thursday, March 28, 2013 in Fast Company Co.Exist
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