Innovative Concrete Slabs That Draw Pollution From the Air Used in Tokyo and the UK

June 12th, 2012

It almost sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, but it’s true: concrete slabs that draw pollution out of the air are now used in the UK. According to the DailyMail.co.uk, they have been used in Tokyo, but now they will be installed in Kendal, Cumbria, UK. Noxer concrete can now be found in about 30 cities in Japan and were first used in Osaka in 1997. They are also used in London, UK. The innovative Noxer concrete purify the air by drawing nitrogen oxide from the traffic. Highgate is a busy street, so this is expected to be quite promising.

Noxer concrete uses sunlight and also a titanium layer to help keep the fumes from escaping. The special concrete is being added to the city as part of the Kendal Regeneration Partnership’s 345,000 pound improvement for the street. The Noxer concrete looks the same as regular concrete, but the results are rather different from typical concrete.

The town is adding the Noxer concrete because they are failing EU air quality standards. They must improve their air quality, and the Noxer concrete is being added to improve the current conditions.

zh:中環路邊空氣監測站 en:Central Roadside Air Quality M...

zh:中環路邊空氣監測站 en:Central Roadside Air Quality Monitoring Station (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs stated there is ‘limited evidence’ that the Noxer concrete will have a long-term effect on air quality. A spokesman stated the councils should improve public transportation, cycle routes and encourage the public to use their vehicles less often.

While there is some debate about whether the Noxer concrete is the ideal choice, the fact that this option exists is an exciting one. To know that a special type of concrete is able to absorb air pollution is something that many of us did not know existed. Yet it makes perfect sense, as smog is created on the roads so it can be drawn right into the roads.

Air pollution is a challenge in many large cities and places all over the world. As they look for solutions, there is hope knowing that innovations such as the Noxer concrete exist. More and more innovations are being developed. As air quality experts monitor air quality and know that something must be done, it gives us hope knowing that innovations are being developed that can make improvements.

The spokesperson’s comment does make excellent practical sense: a city can also have an impact asking people to make an effort to improve air quality. If everyone does their part and thinks about air quality each day, this can help to reduce smog and other air quality challenges. Improving public transportation, cycle routes and also encouraging the public to use their vehicles less often are all very practical ideas that will, over time, improve the air quality.

What is most exciting is to think of the impact that an innovation such as this Noxer concrete, and practical things that people can do will have on the air quality combined. If innovations are put into place, and everyone does their part then the air quality can only be improved. Many cities and areas are looking for that solution for their air pollution problem; fortunately there are solutions available to help.

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