Ariel Schwartz

Paving Slabs Could Scrub Out 70% of the Pollution in the Air

by , 08/19/10
filed under: Air quality

paving slabs, titanium dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, nitrogen monoxide, germany, green design

What if scrubbing pollution out of the air was as easy as laying down specially coated paving slabs? It soon might be – at least for one German city that is experiencing toxic levels of nitrogen oxide caused by vehicle emissions. To remedy this dangerous problem, the city of Fulda is laying down special paving slabs coated in titanium dioxide nanoparticles that are purportedly able to cut down on the amount of nitrogen oxide in the air.


The slabs, developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, convert nitrogen oxide into nitrates using a photocatalytic mechanism (titanium dioxide acts as a photocatalyst). According to Fraunhofer, the slabs work well over time, and testing has shown that no changes will occur in the slabs’ degradation capabilities even after 23 months of use. Incredibly, these slabs can scrub out up to 70% of nitrogen monoxide and dioxide in the air.

At the moment Fraunhofer’s paving slabs aren’t being used outside of Germany, but we don’t doubt their potential for widespread use. Anyone up for scrubbing the smog out of Los Angeles?

Via ScienceDaily

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2 Comments

  1. mark geddes May 10, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Marshalls plc now produce their own brand of ‘Noxer Paving’ which contains Titanium Dioxide and can reduce harmful nitrogen oxides from the atmosphere. These are now available in the UK. Mark Geddes.

  2. Brain Rickson December 30, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    What a coincidence! I was just searching for something like this a couple of days ago. It’s weird how you constantly find what you need when you stop looking. Anyway, you didn’t have to post this but did it in your free time (I assume) anyway so thanks! I will have my daughter read this and possibly comment when I get home. Have a wonderful evening!

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