Cities Energy & Green Tech

Snacking on Smog: A Building That Eats Our Pollution

milano-expo-2015-Palazzo-ItaliaThe latest foray into air-purifying architecture is a 9,000-square meter “urban forest” in Milan, set to be unveiled at the city’s Expo Milano 2015. The massive smog-eating building, called the Palazzo Italia, will mimic the function and appearance of trees while also supporting the expo’s theme of “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.”

The secret of Palazzo Italia is photocatalytic concrete, a special substance that, when in contact with ultraviolet light, captures nitrogen dioxide pollutants and converts them into harmless salts that can be washed away with the next rainfall. In addition to its smog-eating facade, Palazzo Italia will boast a solar-panel rooftop that generates energy using photovoltaic glass.

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