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Wouldn’t it be great if cars put out less pollution? You can breathe a sigh of relief (go on, take a deep one), because researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology (EUT) may have discovered a breakthrough that will lead to reduced pollution and cleaner air.
Researchers at EUT believe that roads made of a blend of concrete and titanium dioxide can remove up to 45 percent of the nitrogen oxides that it comes in contact with. Capturing the airborn nitrogen oxides, the titanium dioxide (a photocatalytic material) uses the sun to convert the nasty nitrogen oxide into nitrates that are easily and harmlessly washed away by the rain.
These findings were tested by the EUT in the Netherlands using a 1,000-square-meter section of repaved road. Researchers found that this special blend of pavement could reduce nitrogen oxides by 25 to 45 percent more than traditional concrete. “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,” said Jos Brouwers, professor of building materials at the EUT. More tests are planned for later this year.
More testing still needs to be done, and there are the extra costs to be considered. The pavement mixed with titanium dioxide costs 50 percent more than regular cement and road-building costs would increase by 10 percent. If additional tests concluded that these types of roads are better for our health and the environment, would you be willing to pay the extra taxes required to replace existing roads? Leave your comment below.