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Dutch university develops pollution-fighting pavements for cities

Dutch university develops pollution-fighting pavements for cities

As city pollution becomes an increasing concern, researchers have become anxious to find a way to remove or neutralise pollutants.

Now scientists at Eindhoven University of Technology believe they may have the answer. After years of research, they have developed a new type of pavement which directly reduces air pollution.

New technology

The system involves spraying special paving blocks with Titanium Oxide. When these blocks are laid in the street, the titanium compound is able to absorb pollutants from the air.

The specific pollutants which it deals with are Nitrogen Oxides. These chemicals are produced by sources such as cars and factories, among others. They are toxic and form smog when combined with other elements in the air.

A large-scale trial of the Titanium Oxide blocks was conducted on a street in the Dutch city of Hengelo. Over a year, the special pavement was able to cut air pollution by up to 45%.

Global significance

The technology is officially known as "photocatalytic pavement," and could have massive repercussions for cities worldwide.

If cars remain the most popular means of metropolitan transport, then this scheme could be a great help in managing the levels of pollution they produce.

The developments at Eindhoven have even been praised by the Chief Executive of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, David Brown.

In an official press release, Brown claimed that the scientists' findings "show the potential of chemically engineered surfaces to further improve our quality of life, especially in major urban areas where traffic emissions are high."

Source: Los Angeles Times

Elzi

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Elzi Lewis

Elzi swapped rainy Manchester for (rainier) Amsterdam a year ago, and has never looked back. Having just finished an MA at the University of Amsterdam, she is both excited and...

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