Poem that cleanses air of pollution created by UK researcher

May 20 2014, 21:26 IST
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SummaryUK researchers have developed the world's first air-cleansing poem printed on a material that can eradicate the air pollution caused by 20 cars, every day.

The writing is on the wall for pollution! UK researchers have developed the world's first air-cleansing poem printed on a material that can eradicate the air pollution caused by 20 cars, every day.

The specially treated material, devised by the University of Sheffield, removes harmful nitrogen oxide from the atmosphere.

Renowned writer Simon Armitage, Professor of Poetry at the University, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Science Professor Tony Ryan, have collaborated to create a catalytic poem called 'In Praise of Air'- printed on material containing a formula which is capable of purifying its surroundings.

The cheap technology could also be applied to billboards and advertisements alongside congested roads to cut pollution, researchers said.

The 10m x 20m piece of material which the poem is printed on is coated with microscopic pollution-eating particles of titanium dioxide which use sunlight and oxygen to react with nitrogen oxide pollutants and purify the air.

"This is a fun collaboration between science and the arts to highlight a very serious issue of poor air quality in our towns and cities," Ryan, who came up with the idea of using treated materials to cleanse the air, said.

"The science behind this is an additive which delivers a real environmental benefit that could actually help cut disease and save lives.

"This poem alone will eradicate the nitrogen oxide pollution created by about 20 cars every day," said Ryan.

"If every banner, flag or advertising poster in the country did this, we'd have much better air quality. It would add less than 100 pounds to the cost of a poster and would turn advertisements into catalysts in more ways than one.

"The countless thousands of poster sites that are selling us cars beside our roads could be cleaning up emissions at the same time," he said.

The poem will be on display at the University's Alfred Denny Building, Western Bank, for one year, researchers said.

Ryan has been campaigning to have his ingredient added to washing detergent in the UK as part of his Catalytic Clothing project.

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