We already have roofing that can keep temperatures low and roofing that can harness the sun's energy to make electricity, and now a company is unveiling a roof tile that can actually reduce pollution! According to MonierLifetile, their smog eating roof tile, Auranox, can offset the equivalent of one year's pollution from driving.
The type of technology that MonierLifetile is using is similar to what some cities are testing to pave their roads with. Paving (or in this case roofing) material is treated with titanium dioxide, which in turn helps remove nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from the air. According to The American Ceramic Society, when the material is exposed to UV rays the titania photocatlytically reduces smog caused by NOx and converts it into nitrate.
MonierLifetile has taken this concept and is reproducing it as a roof tile for the residential market. The idea is that the roof tiles work so well, that theoretically a homeowner could offset the smog production from their car, every year (if they drive!), and thus neutralize their smog emissions. In addition to reducing local smog, the tiles are made to withstand extreme weather conditions and combat the growth of moss and algae.
MonierLifetile has been distributing Auranox in Europe for awhile, and they are now selling it in the US. One of their first clients is builder, KB Home, who is using Auranox to roof their solar home in Lancaster, CA. For more info on Auranox visit Monier and MonierLifetile.
So we have many eco-friendly roof options: green, cool, solar and now smog eating!
More on using titania to reduce NOx levels and photocatalysts:
(Images via MonierLifetile)