With a report released by the World Bank in September 2016 revealing that deaths that could be attributed to air pollution cost the global economy $225 billion in lost labour alone in 2013, the costs of the pollution, from both a health and financial point of view, are alarming. One company that is helping to fight this issue is Arconic, which produces EcoClean – a coating for building surfaces and windows that not only helps them clean themselves, but also reduces the amount of toxins within the air.
How does EcoClean work?
EcoClean’s coating includes Titanium Dioxide which, when it is exposed to sunlight, acts as a photocatalyst and breaks down organic particles by forming free radicals that then oxidise the surrounding air, leading to a reduction in air pollution. As well as the potentially harmful components of the air being broken down, the reaction of Titanium Dioxide also helps to keep buildings clean by creating a superhydrophobic surface layer. This layer ensures that dirt doesn’t stick to the actual building surface and when rainwater hits the surfaces it enables the dirt from the polluted air to be easily washed away.
What are the benefits?
With air pollution becoming an increasing focus issue around the world, the benefits of utilising a coating such as EcoClean can be far reaching, especially in areas that are known to have major problems with smog, such as China and India.
The key benefits are;
- Reduces the amount of Nitrogen Oxide within the air, which is the main component of smog
- With the reduction in smog, major health benefits could be seen from the cleaner air
- Self cleaning properties mean that maintenance of the exterior of buildings is reduced
- The coating is a one-time application, so once applied, the building can help reduce air pollution for its lifetime
You can see a demonstration of the EcoClean coating in action in the below video.