Carl Durrek Carl is a gaming fanatic, forever stuck on Reddit and all-around lover of food.

These advanced roof tiles can actually clean the air

1 min read

I would suppose that one can say that smog is a modern day problem that those of us who happen to live in large cities have to deal with, and while it is far from a pleasant experience, it is a very real problem that ought to be solved – for the betterment of mankind. The question is, can we use something ordinary and turn it into a tool to clean up the air around us? Students at UC Riverside have attempted to do so, by working on a highly affordable coating which can be applied to standard clay roofing tiles in an effort to kick smog and air pollution out from our skies. Having coated off-the-shelf clay roofing tiles with titanium dioxide, which happens to be an extremely common compound that can be found in “everything from paint to food to cosmetics,” these specially coated tiles are then placed within a mini atmosphere chamber that has been constructed out of wood, Teflon, and PVC pipes.

Roofing tiles protect homes from the environment, reflecting heat from the sun and keeping rainwater rolling away into gutters. Thanks to work done by students at the University of California at Riverside, however, roof shingles may soon be protecting the environment itself. A team there coated off-the-shelf clay roofing tiles with titanium dioxide, a compound found in “everything from paint to food to cosmetics,” according to the researchers. They then placed the coated tiles into a mini atmosphere chamber they built out of wood, Teflon, and PVC pipes. The chamber was filled with nitrogen oxide and beamed with ultraviolet light to mimic the sun. Nitrogen oxides are compounds in the air that are responsible for causing smog. What they found was that the coating on the tiles removed between 88 percent and 97 percent of the nitrogen oxides. This led them to calculate that an average-size residential roof coated with their titanium dioxide mixture could break down the same amount of smog-producing nitrogen oxides per year put out by a car driven 11,000 miles. They further calculated that 21 tons of nitric oxide could be eliminated every day if tiles on 1 million roofs got the coating.

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Carl Durrek Carl is a gaming fanatic, forever stuck on Reddit and all-around lover of food.

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