–New Paint Absorbs Pollution 2003-02-05Posted by clype in Gizmo, Health, Science.
The British invention, called 'Ecopaint', traps and neutralises noxious nitrogen oxide gases produced by vehicle exhausts.
New Scientist magazine reports that the paint goes on sale in Europe next month [2003-03], although it is still being tested.
'Ecopaint's' makers, Grimsby-based 'Millennium Chemicals', believe it will give architects and town planners a new weapon with which to fight pollution.
The paint is being studied as part of a European programme assessing new anti-pollution measures.
It works by trapping NOx gases, which stick to microscopic particles of titanium dioxide embedded in the paint's base. The particles absorb sunlight, using this energy to convert NOx to nitric acid.
Alkaline calcium carbonate particles in the paint then neutralise the acid, producing carbon dioxide, water and calcium nitrate that wash away. When the calcium carbonate has been exhausted, the titanium oxide will continue to break down NOx, but the acid this produces will discolour the paint.
Because the particles are so small, the paint is clear, allowing different coloured pigments to be added. However the first 'Ecopaint' to go on sale will be white.
The paint is being lab-tested as part of the Europe-funded Photocatalytic Innovative Coverings Applications for De-pollution Assessment programme (PICADA).