Architects in Italy are using a new type of concrete which is not only able to clean itself, it also can reduce pollutants in the air by a considerable amount in close range around the material (via pixelraut).
According to a European newspaper, construction products containing titanium dioxide help to destroy air pollutants found in car exhaust and heating emissions.
Several companies are now developing "smog-eating" products that can be used not just for the facades of buildings, but also in paint, plaster, and paving materials for roads.
The new environment-friendly substances are quietly being tried out in buildings, squares and highways in Europe as well as Japan.
Titanium dioxide had been used in self-cleaning coatings before because of its photocatalytic properties: sunlight touching the compound triggers a chemical reaction that accelerates natural oxidation.
In one test, paving material using photocatalytic cement was used to cover the asphalt surface of a 230-meter- long stretch of road outside Milan with an average traffic flow of 1,000 vehicles per hour. Tests showed a reduction in nitrogen oxides at street level of about 60 percent, according to Italcementi.