Could titanium dioxide help us breathe easier in our new cars and trucks?

July 20th, 2010 by

General Motors and other manufacturers are doing everything that they can to help vehicles have better emissions and better fuel efficiency. I know that our Ozone layer is important to our government and they are trying their best to make this situation better. Some cities have so much pollution that it is very difficult for people to breathe or even catch a deep breath. I personally try to be as “green” as I can be and set a good example for my children.

Over the weekend I came across this article from AutoBlog about titanium dioxide and how it may help us breathe easier in smog filled cities. I didn’t know at the time but after doing a little research titanium dioxide is a naturally occurring oxide of titanium that is used in things like paint, sunscreen and food coloring. 

This study that I found really puts a perspective on pollution and clean air. 

Here it is: 

Researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology (EUT) may be on the brink of discovering a breakthrough that will lead to reduced pollution and cleaner air for all. According to the EUT, a roadway made of concrete blended with titanium dioxide can effectively remove up to 45 percent of the nitrogen oxides that it comes in contact with. The titanium dioxide, a photocatalytic material, captures airborne nitrogen oxides and, with the aid of the sun, converts it to nitrates that are harmlessly washed away by the rain.

The EUT conducted real-world studies on a 1,000-square-meter section of repaved road in the Netherlands. Such testing showed that the laced pavement could reduce nitrogen oxides by 25 to 45 percent more than traditional concrete. As Jos Brouwers, professor of building materials at the EUT remarked, “The air-purifying properties of the new paving stones had already been shown in the laboratory, but these results now show that they also work outdoors.” 

Additional testing is still underway and although the pavement laced with titanium dioxide does cost some 50 percent more than regular cement, overall road-building costs only increase by a marginal 10 percent. Costs aside, the advantages of the titanium dioxide are readily apparent, but the implementation of such a product requires repaving our roadways – a time intensive and costly endeavor.

It gets you thinking doesn’t it? What do you think about this new discovery and do you think it would be worth the time and money it would take to repave all of our roads? 

Posted in Manufacturer Blogs