Inspiration for Kenya: Scientists invent pavement that eats smog


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A large, old bus just lets out a big one right before you cross the intersection.  Annoying.  Your lungs cringe at the poison that’s being unwillingly inhaled, and you struggle to wipe the black smoke out of your eyes.

With the growing number of cases of respiratory diseases amongst Kenyans, smog can no longer be overlooked as simply an inconvenience.

But what if there was a solution?  A solution so obvious that a city constantly blanketed in smog and dust, such as Nairobi, had no excuse but to implement it?

ENTER: Pavement that eats smog

In a recent article published by Los Angeles Times, findings from the Journal of Hazardous Materials shed new insight on how urban centers in the future may find ways of “gobbling up air pollution from auto emissions.”

Scientists in the Netherlands have invented a special air-purifying pavement on city streets, which can cut air pollution nearly in half.

Sprayed with titanium oxide, researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology were able to remove pollutants from the air and turn them into less harmful chemicals through the specially treated paving blocks.

The special pavement blocks, also known as photocatalytic pavement, reduced the dangerous nitrogen oxide air pollution by up to 45 per cent.

Though the photocatalytic pavement is still in its early testing phase, scientists believe that this latest research shows the potential of chemically engineered surfaces as a solution for those living in urban areas where traffic emissions are high.

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