Air Quality stained glass

Published on August 22nd, 2008 | by Ariel Schwartz

14

Medieval Churches: Solar-Powered Nanotech Pioneers

August 22nd, 2008 by  

stained glass

As I recently discussed, sometimes we need to look to the past for solutions to our current problems. Queensland University professor Zhu Huai Yong has done just that, noting that painting glass windows with gold particles can purify the air.

Zhu came across this realization after studying medieval painted church windows, which were often decorated using glass colored with gold nanoparticles.

Though people likely did not realize it at the time the churches were built, the sun-energized nanoparticles destroy air-borne pollutants, as sunlight creates an electromagnetic field that resonates with the gold particles’ oscillations.

While CO2 is a byproduct of the filtering process, it only occurs in small amounts and is not as harmful as volatile organic compounds that the nanoparticles destroy.

Zhu’s discovery isn’t just trivia fodder—the researcher believes that it could be applied to produce specialty chemicals at room temperature that are both cost-effective (despite the high price of gold) and have minimal environmental impact.

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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.



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  • now if we could figure out what makes the holy water holy

  • now if we could figure out what makes the holy water holy

  • now if we could figure out what makes the holy water holy

  • Castigator

    Hello? Lead? like surrounding every pane of glass – how could the gold present in red panes of glass clean the air of lead oxide dust?

  • Castigator

    Hello? Lead? like surrounding every pane of glass – how could the gold present in red panes of glass clean the air of lead oxide dust?

  • John K

    Ah. but did the gold particles overcome the pollution caused by burning candles to an imaginary diety?

  • John K

    Ah. but did the gold particles overcome the pollution caused by burning candles to an imaginary diety?

  • Vocklery

    I vaguely remember a reference by Sitchen’s The Twelveth Planet to a Sumerian (I think) text that describes the motovation for ET visitors to Earth as gold mining operations, for they put the gold particles in their upper atmosphere to somehow manage the pollution that they caused to their home planet.

    No way I can think of to verify ancient Sumerian texts, without asking the Sumerian authors, as far as I know; but it is interesting to see that the claim made by the author has some scientific legitimacy. I would like to see a research report by scientists native to Earth on the viability of such an idea. Better to put the gold particles in the ozone for a real reason than as coatings to RCA connectors to sell at Radio Shack.

    Fascenating.

    I think I need to read that book, again.

  • Vocklery

    I vaguely remember a reference by Sitchen’s The Twelveth Planet to a Sumerian (I think) text that describes the motovation for ET visitors to Earth as gold mining operations, for they put the gold particles in their upper atmosphere to somehow manage the pollution that they caused to their home planet.

    No way I can think of to verify ancient Sumerian texts, without asking the Sumerian authors, as far as I know; but it is interesting to see that the claim made by the author has some scientific legitimacy. I would like to see a research report by scientists native to Earth on the viability of such an idea. Better to put the gold particles in the ozone for a real reason than as coatings to RCA connectors to sell at Radio Shack.

    Fascenating.

    I think I need to read that book, again.

  • Jim McDish

    Gold particles in windows, in a church? OK, seems like they have a BIT too much spare money on their hands!

    RD

    http://www.anotools.cq.bz

  • Jim McDish

    Gold particles in windows, in a church? OK, seems like they have a BIT too much spare money on their hands!

    RD

    http://www.anotools.cq.bz

  • Jim McDish

    Gold particles in windows, in a church? OK, seems like they have a BIT too much spare money on their hands!

    RD

    http://www.anotools.cq.bz

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