Smog-eating paint

  • A new paint has been created which scientists think could remove 20% of polluting nitrogen in major cities.
  • The technology, called Boysen KNOxOUT, reacts with light and water vapour to filter out nitrogen oxides in the air. Each square metre of painted surface is thought to remove as much nitrous oxide as a mature tree.
  • The paint is likely to have health benefits in cities with heavy traffic, as nitrogen oxides (often emitted from combustion engines) are known to have adverse respiratory effects, particularly amongst children, the elderly, or those suffering with respiratory problems such as asthma or bronchitis.
  • Currently, it is being used to paint creative murals on buildings around Manila, one of the Philippines most polluted cities. By hiring artists, the city is covering 1,000s of square metres with the purifying paint.

This solution could offer major environmental and health benefits in cities with heavy car use and little space for greenery or trees. Government may wish to consider its use on new buildings, or perhaps promote its use amongst street artists. In doing so, Government could offer cultural, environmental, and health benefits in the UK, particularly in polluted cities such as London.

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About Hayley Shaw

Knowledge Exchange Manager at Cranfield University's Centre for Environmental Risks and Futures (CERF). Sharing the latest news from Cranfield, and insights from across the industry. All things risk, environment, and the future.
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