Paving Material Using Titanium Dioxide Removes NOx

Exhaust

In brief: Professor Jos Brouwers of the TEchnische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU/e) in the Netherlands has successful tested a road surface material containing titanium dioxide that reduces nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 25-45%.

The word

ExhaustNOx is one of the primary contributors to ozone creation and what we know as "smog." This dangerous chemical mix tends to stay low in the air, covering cities and causing a myriad of health problems.

Adding titanium dioxide to an asphalt mix causes the nitrous oxides to melt away. The process is thanks to the photocatalytic reaction that titanium dioxide has with nitrous oxides and sunlight. This converts the NOx into plain nitrate, which washes away with the rain.

Tests were conducted in the municipality of Hengelo, where a busy road was resurfaced last fall. About 1,000 square meters of the road were resurfaced using paving stones embedded with the titanium dioxide and another area was paved with plain paving stones as a control.

Researchers at TU/e then did air purity measurements on the road at various heights above the road (ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 meters) and found that the titanium dioxide surface had 25 to 45% lower NOx content in the air above it.

And so ...

Very cool except that nitrates as runoff are a serious problem in lakes, rivers, and estuaries already, thanks to industrial farming.

Photo credits: TU/e

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