America has over 5.7 million miles of paved roads, and while some of those roads are being left to rot, many millions of miles are in dire need of repair. Could an emissions-eating asphalt help clean the air around us?
Even if you don’t own a car, it’s nearly impossible to get around without our fast network of roads. Unfortunately, roads require oil and tar and constantly require maintenance and construction. Basically, roads are a one-dimensional, bottomless money pit. But what if we got more bang for our buck?
U.S.-based Pureti, Inc. is working on chemical compounds and surface treatment that reacts with light to absorb nitrogen oxide. The compound is mostly made from naturally-occurring titanium dioxide used to add white pigment in paint. The surface treatment can absorb up to 70% of nitrogen oxide emissions and might also reduce sulfur emissions as well.
This treatment would probably get the most use in areas with heavy traffic, like around Los Angeles and New York. Just another angle from which we can chip away at our global emissions problem. Between this and solar highways, we might some day be driving on some high-tech roads.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.