Giant Nanotech Poster Uses Titanium Dioxide To Eat Up Air Pollution

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How titanium dioxide works

A respected poet and a nanotechnology expert, both from the United Kingdom?s University of Sheffield, have teamed up to address poor air quality issues in their country. Vice Chancellor for Science Tony Ryan and Simon Armitage, a Professor of Poetry at the said university, collaborated to create a giant poster treated with a formula that can clean surrounding air.

The 10m x 20m poster ?is treated with a titanium dioxide solution invented in the same university. When the particles of this nanotech formula are hit by sunlight and exposed to oxygen, they react by breaking down molecules of nitrogen oxide pollutants. As a result, these harmful molecules are turned into harmless substances, thereby cleaning the air nearby. Nitrogen oxide is a highly reactive gas that is produced during combustion; it is linked with various respiratory conditions including asthma.

Ryan states that this poster alone can get rid of all the nitrogen oxide emitted by 20 cars in a single day. Although this one piece of treated material cannot make a significant improvement in overall air quality, Ryan further mentioned that if every billboard establishment in their country will utilize this technology it will definitely make a huge difference in air cleanliness.

Apparently, this is not Tony Ryan?s only venture involving titanium oxide. He also pioneered the ?Catalytic Clothing Project? wherein he aims to incorporate the nanotech formula into laundry detergents. He explained that only two jeans washed with a detergent containing titanium dioxide can eliminate nitrogen oxide given out by one car ? and the wearer will not feel any difference while donning those clothes.

The poster is attached on one side of the University of Sheffield?s Alfred Denny Building. Simon Armitage?s poem written on its surface is entitled ?In Praise of Air.? It is slated to be there for one year and its unveiling signals the commencement of the annual Sheffield Lyric Festival. Armitage is excited with this recent collaboration of art and science. He also expressed that he usually didn?t think of poetry being exposed boldly in such a public place and jokes that he is sincerely hoping every word is spelled correctly.


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