Boral Roofing says each year, one of its concrete tile roofs on a typical 2,000-square-foot house can break down the same amount of nitrogen oxides as a car’s engine typically produces during 10,800 miles of driving.
When sunlight hits the roof, it activates titanium dioxide, which breaks down the nitrogen oxides in the air into oxygen and nitrates, the company say. The tiles’ smog-fighting ability was proved in extensive laboratory testing and field studies conducted by a European Union consortium of academic and industry experts from 2002 to 2006.
There\’s more to this idea as well.
TiO2, add sunlight and water, and via a catalytic reation you get the water split into oxygen and hydrogen.
Somewhere out there (I corresponded with them way back when) is a team of Australian scientists trying to make this work. Make roofing tiles out of TiO2 containing slag (of which there is an abundance lying around: even if not, TiO2 is cheap enough, running around $500 a tonne today, it\’s the white in white paint for example) and you can generate hydrogen.
Store said H2 and you can then run a fuel cell off it: either heat the house or run a car etc.
Yes, there are engineering difficulties in how you actually capture the H2, but the basic idea does work.
There are more weird and whacky ways of dealing with climate change than windmills you know, things that Greenpeace and FoE have never thought of.
Which is exactly why we\’d really rather like to simply have a carbon tax and let these different technologies fight it out, rather than trying to \”pick winners\” and other such absurdities.