The Italian company Italcementi Group and its North American subsidiary, Essroc Cement, have developed a new cement that uses photocatalysis to break down airborne pollutants commonly found in cities. The cement, called TX Active®, contains a binder doped with particles of titanium dioxide. When exposed to UV radiation (e.g., when exposed to sunlight) the titanium dioxide catalyzes the breakdown of nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, and various other inorganic and organic pollutants into inert higher oxidation states. By statistical estimates, up to 50% of these atmospheric pollutants could be reduced in some cities if only 15% of the buildings and roads were resurfaced with TX Active® cement.
TX Active® cement is not necessarily more sustainable than ordinary cement, but it does have beneficial activity.Download document
The activity of this cement mimics the ability of many microbes to store or dispose of toxic substances by modifying their oxidation state through catalysis. Though not enzymatic, the titanium dioxide carries out a similiar function.
Pollution in congested cities affects millions of people worldwide. Using TX Active® cement in the construction of buildings and roads could mitigate the problem.Edit Summary