The smog of war

The fight against air pollution is producing increasingly innovative solutions. How about buildings that “eat” carbon dioxide?

1. An appetite for smog

The fight against air pollution is producing increasingly innovative solutions. How about buildings that “eat” carbon dioxide? German company Prosolve created a coral-shaped facade made of specially designed modules that, with help from the sun’s rays, consume carbon dioxide. In Mexico City, which is heavily affected by pollution, these facades have been tested with success in locations including the Torre de Especialidades hospital where, according to Prosolve engineers, they neutralize the daily emissions of a thousand cars.

2. Exhausted ink

Could traffic jams be used for books and taxi rides for tattoos? Graviky Labs of New Delhi has developed a method for producing ink by extracting carbon from the exhaust gases of engines with the help of a filter that attaches to the tailpipe. “One of our employees had the idea when his white shirt developed black dots in just a few hours from all the pollutants present in the air,” says co-founder Nikhil Kaushik. The company recently launched its AIR-INK project on Kickstarter.

3. Road works

Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology have begun testing a new method of reducing air pollutants by spraying the road with titanium oxide. They found that smog could be reduced by up to 45 percent compared with an unsprayed section of road. The coating pulls nitrogen oxides out of the air and converts them into less dangerous nitrates.