University of Technology (EUT) researchers revealed that 45
percent of nitrogen oxides on the road can be removed by creating
a roadway made with concrete that is blended with titanium
study was conducted by the EUT in the Netherlands on a
1,000-square-meter repaved road. Jos Brouwers, professor of building
materials at the EUT, noted that the air-purifying test in the new
pavement proved to be effective in the laboratory, and has now proved
to be effective outdoors as well.
tested outdoors in the town of Hengelo, the pavement blended with
titanium dioxide showed a 25 to 45 percent reduction in nitrogen
oxide that came in contact with it as opposed to regular concrete.
Titanium dioxide is a photocatalytic material that grabs airborne
nitrogen oxides and converts
it to harmless nitrates with the help of the sun, and it is
washed away by the rain. In addition, the mixed material breaks down
dirt and algae, so it is sure to stay clean.
cost of lacing titanium dioxide into the concrete costs approximately
50 percent more than traditional concrete, but the increase total
road-building costs is only 10 percent.
idea of adding titanium dioxide to concrete is not
a new concept. In 2007, Italian company
a cement that was also laced with titanium dioxide, and could
neutralize certain harmful pollutants. It's called TX Active, and
when exposed to sunlight or ultraviolet light, the titanium dioxide
transforms any nitrogen oxides or sulfur oxides into harmless
nitrates or sulfates which can be washed away by rainwater, much like
the titanium dioxide mix that EUT researchers are testing in the
Netherlands right now.
at the EUT are still conducting additional testing, but see a lot of
advantages to using titanium dioxide-mixed concrete that could help
cleaner air. But despite these advantages, it will take awhile
for this project to come into effect due to the time and cost it will
take to repave every road.