Regardless of the incredible amount of studies and articles that have appeared on the net, a surprising amount of people seem to be inclined to avoid the problem of increasing air pollution in urban areas instead of dealing with it.
This is one of the reasons for many scientific teams around the world to conduct various campaigns in order to raise awareness and open the eyes of young people around the world. Following the successful approach that researchers from Peru took, building an air-purifying billboard, now a team from University of Sheffield is putting up a huge banner that carries an air-cleansing poem, which not only educates passers-by, but also cleans the air. The team hopes that this will push more people towards adopting clean technologies.
The technology was realized thanks two UK Professors, Tony Ryan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Science and developer of the chemical formula behind the banner, together with the award-winning writer and Professor at University of Sheffield, Simon Armitage. The banner, which contains the novel poem called ‘In Praise of Air‘, has incredible cleansing properties.
The 10 x 20 m (32 x 64 ft) banner, which covers one of the walls of the Alfred Denny Building at the University and will remain there for the next one year, is coated with tiny titanium dioxide particles. When hit by sunlight, titanium dioxide acts as a catalyst to the reaction between oxygen and nitrogen oxides, which in turns purifies the air. The team led by Ryan estimated that the banner can remove as much nitrogen oxide from the air, as twenty cars emit per day.
According to Ryan, this technology could turn every poster into a air-purifying gadget, at a minimal investment. The professor also believes that the technology can be implemented in many other day-to-day products, such as washing powders and detergents, that can give the air-purifying properties to our daily clothing. This is something, however, that the team is currently working on under the Catalytic Clothing Project.
Image (c) University of Sheffield