Thursday 1 December 2011

Eco-friendly technologies take root

With emission reduction high on the agenda of governments worldwide, titanium dioxide based technologies offer a glimpse of a greener future. From pavements to tunnels, buildings, petrol stations and skylight glass applications, new titanium-dioxide coated products offer the world a potential way of alleviating the effects of harmful pollutants.

Examples are springing up from around the world of new architectural designs employing titanium dioxide based technologies – one such example is the Iceberg project in Aarhus, Denmark where a product called Eco-clean has been used extensively.

According to manufacturer, Alcoa, a 1000 m2 of 'Eco-clean' cladding will disperse as much smog as approximately 80 trees or the equivalent to the daily emissions of four cars.

Acting as an air purifier, titanium dioxide can reduce smog levels when applied to outdoor surfaces such as roads and buildings and reduce maintenance cost savings by up to 50% as the material reduces the need for cleaning products and labour.

In built-up cities this is extremely good news. In the Philippines capital Manila, for example, where the average 24-hour nitrogen oxide level is over 4½ times the health limit set by the World Health Organisation (WHO), an innovative paint manufacturer Pacific Paints (Boysen) Philippines has incorporated titanium dioxide to provide the world with the first air-cleaning paint.

Self cleaning mural spanning 24 kilometres along a major route in Manilla
 The company is spearheading an advocacy initiative One Wall One World  supported by Shell to reduce pollution in the city. Shell is participating in its own way by painting its petrol stations with the specially-coated paint. Its  buildings are routinely exposed to high amounts of vehicle exhaust.

This is good PR branding initiative by Shell and offers considerable potential for replication elsewhere.

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