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Science: Graphene substance absorbs air pollution

Science: Graphene substance absorbs air pollution

The graphene substance could be useful not only for lowering electricity bills but for eliminating many forms of air pollution. As Springwise reports, a highly-conductive graphene-based paint is a composite made of graphene and titania nanoparticles.

The engineers from the University of Cambridge have presented their own innovative graphene-based substance that can absorb pollution. According to the leading author Marco Goisis, the hi-tech substance could be used as a coating on pavements or buildings to eliminate many forms of air pollution.

Taking into account that adding graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon, to titania, makes a new tech sense. In a result of such adding, the scientists got a material with more powerful ‘photodegradation’ properties than titania alone.

The new substance is a composite made of graphene and titania nanoparticles. Titania is a photocatalyst, meaning that when it is exposed to sunlight, it alters harmful nitrogen oxides and other volatile organic compounds, changing them into inert or harmless products.

Coupling graphene and titania helps to reduce air pollution level

The researchers found that when the graphene substance is mixed in with concrete pavement or applied to the walls of buildings, it converts airborne pollutants into harmless products which are then washed away by rain or wind. They can also be cleaned off the buildings manually.

According to Mr Goisis, mixing graphene and titania gave the researchers excellent results in powder form – and it could be applied to different materials, of which concrete is a good example for the widespread use, helping us to achieve a healthier environment.

The advantage of graphene-titanian powder is low-maintenance and environmental friendliness, as it just requires the sun’s energy and no other input. Now, the researchers need to develop cheaper methods to mass-produce graphene and study the long-term stability of the newly-invented material.