The Italian Almanac

road surface

Italian News - July 17

A revolutionary new Italian road surface that can eat up pollution is hitting the high road for tests in the Alpine region of Alto Adige. The cement-based product has a special chemical composition that enables it to absorb pollutants made by car fumes, factories, household heating and city life in general.

The Italian producers, Italcementi, claim the surface has massive potential for major cities struggling with smog, the cause of a range of ailments - some fatal. Experts say tests suggest the cement can reduce the quantity of dangerous pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide, in surrounding areas by a third or more.

The cement, made with a special compound called TX Millennium, absorbs harmful pollutants and transforms them into non-toxic gases, which it then releases. "It can reduce levels of both organic and inorganic air pollutants," explained Italcementi technical director Luigi Cassar.

As well as its ecological properties, the cement has one other major advantage - its color doesn't fade. Because the substance contains chemicals that interact with ultraviolet light, its color is refreshed whenever the sun comes out.