Smog-Busting Poem Scrubs Pollution from the Air

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A giant poem printed on a poster 32-feet wide by 64-feet tall is cleaning the air in Sheffield, England. Microscopic particles of titanium dioxide coat the poster and react with oxygen and ultraviolet rays in sunlight to break down nitrogen oxide present in the air from vehicle emissions.

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“This poem alone will eradicate the nitrogen oxide pollution created by about 20 cars every day,” said professor of poetry, Tony Ryan, in a press release. Ryan collaborated on the project with poet Simon Armitage, who authored “In Praise of Air.”

The catalytic poem, which uses the same technology as Catalytic Clothing, will be on display on the side of the University’s Alfred Denny Building, Western Bank, for one year.

The relatively cheap technology could be applied to other posters and billboards throughout a city or along congested roadways to help reduce smog.

Credit: University of Sheffield

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