Smog eating concrete

Smog eating concrete
Jos Brouwers – Technical University Eindhoven

Smog is a big problem in big cities. Dutch researchers from the Technical University Eindhoven have developed a smog-eating concrete. Smog (air pollution caused by combustion engines (cars) and industry) is mainly caused by the nitrogen oxides emitted by man-made machines.

The concrete these Dutch researches have created is coated with titanium dioxide, ingredients that’s already being used in paint for it’s ‘self-cleaning’ properties (dirt does not attach to it). The concrete, dubbed “photocatalytic,” is made with run-of-the-mill cement sprayed with a chemical—titanium oxide—that neutralizes air pollutants. It converts nitrogen oxides into nitrate using sunlight. Nitrate is easily ‘cleaned’ by rain as it’s soluble in water.

The concrete these researchers developed has actually already shown promising results in real world tests. The potential applications of the stuff are broad: it could be mixed with asphalt for roads, used for pavements in tiles and even to build walls with.

Incorporating the addition of titanium dioxide to concrete’s production cycle is not complicated. Next to that, the it‘s very durable; it does not need any extra maintenance and doesn’t wear off. It is a littlebit more expensive, but the payback is evident.

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