Smog-eat­ing

Element - - Clean Technology -

It sounds too good to be true. But a com­pany claims to have cre­ated a smog-eat­ing ma­te­rial that can be used to clad build­ings. US-based Al­coa, the world’s largest alu­minium com­pany, has cre­ated an air-clean­ing sur­face called Reynobond which eats or­ganic ma­te­rial ei­ther stuck to it or float­ing near it. The tech­nol­ogy re­lies on the re­ac­tion caused when sun­light strikes ti­ta­nium diox­ide to ex­cite elec­trons, which in turn trans­fers en­ergy to wa­ter in the air to form free rad­i­cals OH (hy­droxyl rad­i­cals) and O2 (su­per­ox­ide an­ions). These free rad­i­cals are both pow­er­ful ox­i­dis­ers that can at­tack any or­ganic ma­te­rial ei­ther on the panel’s sur­face or float­ing by. The ma­te­rial ac­tively works to re­move pol­lu­tants by us­ing sun­light, wa­ter vapour, and oxy­gen in the air to clean the air it­self. In fact, 1000sqm / 10,000sq ft² of it on a build­ing can have ap­prox­i­mately enough cleans­ing power to off­set the smog cre­ated by the pol­lu­tion out­put of four cars ev­ery day, which is the ap­prox­i­mate air cleans­ing power of 80 trees.

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