Aug
06
2010

Want Fresh Air? You're Driving On It.

The air around us is not as clean as it could be. Scientists are looking for ways to remove toxins, like nitrogen oxide, from the air we breathe. One of the main sources of nitrogen oxide is automobile traffic. A solution to this problem might be found under our very wheels.
Pavers: Pavers, like these, coated with nanoscale particles of Ti02 can help clean the air.
Pavers: Pavers, like these, coated with nanoscale particles of Ti02 can help clean the air.Courtesy Pacificpavingstone

How does it work? Concrete pavers are coated with nanoscale particles of titanium dioxide (TiO2). Kicked off with the energy from sunlight, TiO2 converts nasties, like nitrogen oxides, into much less harmful nitrates via a chemical reaction. Nanoscale particles have lots of surface area where a chemical reaction can occur. Also good? It seems that this coating remains stable. Tests conducted almost two years later show no change.

My favorite part of this article...they did not stop there. They asked "What about the nitrates we are introducing into the system? Where's that going?" Rain sweeps the nitrates off the road, into ditches and on to waste water treatment facilities.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Karen's picture
Karen says:

Whoops - Forgot to include a link to the article.

A Breath of Fresh Air from Nano Coated Pavements
http://www.nano.org.uk/news/775

posted on Fri, 08/06/2010 - 3:31pm
KelsiDayle's picture
KelsiDayle says:

Are wastewater treatment facilities designed to remove nitrates from our water supply? If so, what do they do with the nitrates then?

I did a (very) brief Google search and got "the vibe" that the technology to remove nitrates from incoming water at a wastewater treatment facility exists, but its use is not widespread. In that case, the nitrates are released with outgoing water, usually discharged back into streams.

Can you find more conclusive evidence to answer one of these questions? Post what you find below.

However, if this is the case... are nanoparticle-coated pavers really a solution to our nitrogen oxide problem? Or are they only passing the problem off in another form? I get the feeling that this is an incomplete conclusion... like using a Band-Aid to fix a major wound.

posted on Fri, 08/06/2010 - 4:40pm
KelsiDayle's picture
KelsiDayle says:

.

posted on Fri, 08/06/2010 - 4:41pm

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <h3> <h4> <em> <i> <strong> <b> <span> <ul> <ol> <li> <blockquote> <object> <embed> <param> <sub> <sup>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may embed videos from the following providers vimeo, youtube. Just add the video URL to your textarea in the place where you would like the video to appear, i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw0jmvdh.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Images can be added to this post.

More information about formatting options