Increasing contamination of the air we breathe —
Photoment® can help

More effective than trees.

Photoment® can help in reducing nitrogen oxides

With their ability to decompose CO2 and produce oxygen, trees and plants make a significant contribution to improving the quality of our air. Unfortunately, though, they cannot decompose harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx). And where the plants no longer perform, our innovative concrete additive can help. Photoment® is used as a fine-grained powder in the manufacture of concrete goods (e.g. concrete paving stones). Exposure to light triggers a photocatalytic reaction on a Photoment® surface, by which the toxic nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the air are transformed into non-toxic nitrates (NO3-). The quantity of nitrates created is so small that it is not harmful to the environment or to health, and is simply flushed into the groundwater with the next rainfall. Every square yard with Photoment® therefore reduces the harmful nitrogen oxide levels by photocatalysis. The reaction can be repeated any number of times, as the photocatalyst itself is not used up or impaired. The special and unique feature of Photoment® is that nitrogen oxides are not only decomposed under sunlight, but also under artificial lighting.

Local authorities under pressure

Strict limits for pollution levels

In Directive 1999/30/EC of April 22, 1999, the European Union set local authorities a maximum limit of 40 µg nitrogen dioxide/m3 in the ambient air and defined potential fines for authorities which fail to meet that limit on an annual average. In early July the EU Commission reprimanded Germany for persistently exceeding the limit of 40 µg nitrogen dioxide per cubic meter of air for many years. If the federal, state and local governments continue to fail in taking sufficient action to reduce the pollution with this harmful gas, there may be proceedings based on treaty violations, and following that high fines may also be imposed on individual cities and local authorities. Up to 50,000 euros per day and location is the possible figure.

Further information: NOx Newsticker