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Pavements fighting down smog

published: 2019-04-23 12:10, mlan

Soon five Warsaw sidewalks will undergo modernisation involving the installation of air-cleaning pavements. The tender procedure launched by the City to complete this project has already been concluded, and the first construction of anti-smog sidewalks on such a large scale in Europe is about to begin.

"Warsaw, as one of the first cities in Poland and Europe, will use this innovative approach on such a large scale. Obviously, the anti-smog pavements will not solve our air pollution and low-emission problem but they can effectively contribute to eliminating dangerous substances generated by road traffic. Their efficiency has already been confirmed by tests," said Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor of Warsaw. "I believe that it is worthwhile to be a pioneer. And this project demonstrates how the city and its units can successfully cooperate with scientific circles and entrepreneurs, including property developers."

The Capital of Poland is intensifying its efforts to fight down smog. Pavements absorbing harmful compounds, e.g., nitrogen dioxide, are one of the innovations introduced to reduce air pollution. The positive results of surface performance tests have encouraged Warsaw road engineers from the Municipal Road Authority to make use of this high-tech solution in the upcoming repairs. Soon the following streets and avenues will undergo modernisation:
·    Lotników Avenue, along a section from Wilanowska Avenue to Puławska Street (over 5,300 square metres),
·    Wojska Polskiego Avenue, along a section from Popiełuszki Street to Inwalidów Square (6,000 square metres),
·    Solidarności Avenue, along a section from Bielańska Street to Nowy Przejazd Street (450 square metres)
·    A stretch of Czecha – Sejmikowa streets, along a section from Kajki Street to Wydawnicza Street (over 2,000 square metres),
·    Zawodzie Street, along a section from Augustówka Street to Kobylańska Street (1,500 square metres).
The sidewalk construction cost exceeds PLN 5,000,000, and the work will be conducted by Adrog.

How it all works
The concrete used to construct anti-smog pavement slabs displays photovoltaic properties. The pavement slab production utilises cement with an additive of nanometric titanium dioxide. On such a well-insolated slab surface, harmful compounds such as nitrogen dioxide undergo decomposition and, once decomposed, they no longer pose a threat to human health (with similar compounds being used as plant fertilisers). Then, they are discharged to soil with rain water. Self-cleaning properties are an unquestionable advantage of concrete itself.