Smog-Eating Graffiti for One of World’s Most Polluted Cities

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smog pollution eating paint

Update: for a lot more info on the paint, check out the comment by the people behind it in the comments below the post!

This story grabbed my eye like few do, so I imagine it might have for you, too. So, you’re probably asking: “What’s the deal? Is smog-eating graffiti for real?” Yes, it is.

Manila (Philippines), reportedly one of the five most polluted cities in the world, is using an air-purifying paint — a paint that filters out nitrogen oxides when it reacts with sunlight and water vapor — on walls around the city, especially next to highways, to clean the air. As the BBC video below notes, people are painting murals on the walls of some of Manila’s busiest streets and measurements so far show that it is really helping to clean the air (but that there’s still a lot more to be done).

The catalytic paint, Boysen KNOxOUT, was created by a local Manila company.

Jess Zimmerman of Grist (where I ran across this story) echoes one of the stats from the video above and adds her own little twist of enthusiasm and “let’s do it” creativity in this nice comment: “Eleven square feet of paint-covered surface can absorb as much pollution as a full-grown tree, and these murals are close to 11 THOUSAND square feet. If we could get this stuff into the hands of street artists and taggers, it would be like having an army of energetic teenagers planting trees all over the city all day, every day.” Seriously, this should be deployed in cities around the world (unless we’re missing some nasty details about the paint).

Have you heard about this paint before? Think it’s the coolest thing since sliced bread? Have something else to chime in about?

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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