Smog-Eating Roof Tiles Clean Up Surrounding Air
Green roofing systems already exist in the form of gardens and agriculture installations. One company, though, has introduced tile roofing that mitigates air pollution. Boral Roofing LLC, which provides sustainable clay and tile roofing solutions, provides a smog-eating roof technology that significantly reduces nitrogen oxide, a key component of smog, and was confirmed by a one-year study.
BoralPure Smog-Eating Tile helps reduce the formation of smog and is installable on both residential and commercial buildings. Boral Roofing boasts that it is the only company that offers a concrete tile roofing solution within the United States that mitigates air pollution.
The technology works via catalysts embedded in each tile that speed up oxidation when they are exposed to sunlight. Each roof tile contains a micro-mortar surface with a titanium dioxide (TiO2) coating. Through a chemical reaction between the TiO2 coating and nitrogen oxide, the tiles are capable of breaking down dangerous smog particles.
The company explains that the photocatalytic properties also destroy organic substances, such as dirt and algae, that come in contact with the tiles. Rain washes off the neutralized substances.
In addition to the smog-eating TiO2 coating, the base materials of the tiles are also beneficial to the environment. “Concrete tiles are made of locally sourced raw materials, a mixture of sand, water and cement, and they have the inherent energy benefits of high thermal mass, emissivity, reflectivity and an insulating air space between the tile and the deck,” John Renowden, vice president of technology for Boral Roofing, explained in a US Building Digest article.
The tiles are also designed to be recycled for materials for other building structures, should a rooftop need to be replaced.
As an eco-building trend, green roofing systems — such as vegetation systems with waterproof barriers — have spread due to environmental impact and cost savings, yet as new green technologies like smog-eating tiles emerge, such systems may look very different in the near future.
Boral Roofing reports that according to studies that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conducted in Los Angeles over one year, the agency discovered that 2,000 square feet of the tiles mitigates the same amount of nitrogen oxide produced by a car driven 10,800 miles in one year.
The consequences of nitrogen oxide pollutants are seen in various health issues. The World Health Organization estimates that air pollutants cause approximately 9 percent of annual lung cancer deaths, 5 percent of cardiopulmonary deaths and about 1 percent of respiratory infection fatalities.