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Construction for Landscape Architecture by Jamie Liversedge, Robert Holden

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Photocatalytic (depolluting) concrete

This is based on the addition of the white pigment titanium dioxide (TiO2) in a water-based binder, which promotes oxidization of pollutants—notably nitrous oxide. In consequence, the manufacturers advise that their concrete and cement are self-cleaning and can also help deal with atmospheric pollutants. When ultraviolet light hits the surface of the concrete it causes electrons in the titanium oxide molecules to detach, so leaving positive "holes" which take on hydroxide (OH) ions from water vapour. The OH radical is unstable and attracts an electron from a nearby compound (which may well be a pollutant, such as nitrous oxide or carbon monoxide), which leads to the decomposition of the compound. This is ...

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