Air pollution is a threat to the environment and human health. According to the World Health Organization, 3 million people die from the effects of air pollution each year. This is three times the number of deaths associated with automobile accidents.
Manila, Philippines, is one of the top five polluted cities in world, when it comes to air pollution. Air pollution claims 4,000 deaths in a year. In an effort to combat air pollution, the city is taking an innovative solution, Paint.
The city launched the worlds first air cleaning public art project, on May 07, 2012. With the use of a special paint from Boysen, Called Boysen KNOxOUT, that is able to filter out nitrogen oxides (NOx), one of the principal air pollutants. The paint not only reduces air pollution, the city is applying it with a beautifying approach. Instead of just slathering the paint, they have commissioned curators and artists to do the paint job. Murals are painted along the main highway which is also the main source of smog. Making the city roadways more attractive, while reducing air pollution.
The paint contains chemicals that reacts with light and water vapor. It absorbs energy from sunlight and transforms ordinary water vapor to into free radicals that can breakdown NOx air pollutants that comes in contact with the paint’s surface. The whole cycle involves an environment friendly process called Photocatalysis.
The Photocatalysis process allows the paint to sustain its ability to clean air. The paint chemicals involved in the reaction are not consumed, they act as mere catalysts only, allowing it to continuously generate free radicals with sufficient sunlight,air and moisture.
The paint has been tested in European locations and is proven to eliminate 10 cars worth of emission, for every one square meter painted. One square foot of paint can absorb the same amount of air pollution as a full-grown tree. The project aims to produce eight massive murals, measuring about 1,000 square foot each, on eight different locations along the streets of EDSA. This means that each artwork is expected purify the emission of 10,000 cars everyday, significantly reducing air pollution.
How much more if the ‘purifying paint’ is applied in every house hold? would it result to air pollution free planet? Hopefully, but it all depends on the success of the Boysen KNOxOUT project.
Just a note. Trees on the street side is still better. But this technology would definitely be a good substitute, definitely a green technology.
source: BBC news