Introducing Air-Purifying Pavement

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Russians and tourists wear facemasks to protect themselves from forest fire smog while walking on Red Square in Moscow on August 6, 2010 Russians and tourists wear facemasks to protect themselves from forest fire smog while walking on Red Square in Moscow on August 6, 2010 (Getty Images)

What if a city's concrete roadways doubled as an air freshener?

That's the dream of a group of Dutch scientists who have developed a product they describe as "air-purifying pavement."

Could the very streets you drive on eat smog?

Though the original technology was developed in Japan about 20 years ago, researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology have been working for the last seven to eight years to develop special air-purifying pavement.

The researchers outfitted one block in the city of Hengelo, Netherlands, with paving blocks sprayed with titanium oxide, which has the ability to remove pollutants from the air and turn them into less harmful chemicals. They created and tested two environments—one with the treated stones and the other with regular stones—producing conditions that were almost identical.

The scientists found that by installing this special pavement in streets that the air in city was not only cleaner, but pollution was nearly cut in half.

Jos Brouwers, Professor at Eindhoven University of Technology is part of the team of working on this technology. He tells The Takeaway how the ground we walk on could help clean the air we breath.

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Guests:

Dr. Jos Brouwers

Hosted by:

Todd Zwillich

Produced by:

Cassie Jones

Editors:

T.J. Raphael

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