Imagine a city that could devour the very pollution that it creates. Such was the scenario envisioned by scientists in the Netherlands, who have found that using specially treated pavement on city streets can cut air pollution nearly in half.
The researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology installed concrete paving which included titanium dioxide – called photocatalytic pavement – on a block in the city of Hengelo, Netherlands. Titanium oxide has the ability to remove pollutants from the air and reduce them into less harmful components. Another part of the street was outfitted with normal paving blocks as a control.
The study looked at reductions in nitrogen oxides (NOx), a group of poisonous gases produced by cars and power plants that react with other compounds in the atmosphere to form smog.
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