Fighting a Megacity’s Pollution with Mega Panels

Sustainability Problem:

Air Pollution in major cities around the world has become and issue that affects the health of city dwellers.

Article Summary:

  • Plastic panels coated with titanium dioxide (TiO2) can be placed on building facades that react to sunlight.
  • This material breaks down nitrogen oxides and VOCs when it gets in contact with sunlight.
  • Byproduct of chemical reaction is a non toxic chemical (calcium nitrate), which will get washed away with rain


  • Government
  • Private entities
  • Public

Steps for deploying technology:

  1. Getting approval from city government
  2. Secure funding for the project
  3. Finding buildings with larger square footage and sunlight exposure






Elegant Air Purification in Construction

  • Sustainability Problem
    • The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 7 million premature deaths are linked to air pollution.
    • Over 50% of the world’s population lives in cities, where there are increased levels of air pollution from car exhaust, manufacturing, energy production, and building heat generation, among others.
    • Cities must reduce or neutralize pollutants to reduce health care costs caused by air pollution.
  • Summary of “Fighting a Megacity’s Pollution with Mega Panels” by Shonquis Moreno:
    • As part of a two-decades-long effort to clean up Mexico City, 2,500 square meters of Prosolve 370e “smog eating” tiles were installed on the Dr. Manuel Gea Gonzalez Hospital.
    • The elegant lightweight tiles are coated with a photocatalytic air-scrubbing titanium dioxide (Ti02), which is activated by sunlight. This installation will neutralize the exhaust produced by up to 1,000 cars per day.
    • The panels are easy to install on existing buildings, allowing commercial and community buildings to use their large vertical surfaces to minimize air pollution.
  • Stakeholders:
    • Urban Planners & Architects
    • Commercial and community buildings
    • Building contractors
  • Deployment:
    • Installation on existing commercial buildings
    • Integrated into new development
  • Resources: