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TX Active® lines streets in Chicago

World Cement,

Italcementi’s photocatalytic cement is covering the bicycle and parking lanes on Blue Island Avenue and Cermak Road, Chicago. The sustainable streetscape project, launched by the Chicago Department of Transportation in May 2011, incorporates recycled materials, solar bus shelters, as well as the pollution-reducing, heat-reflecting cement. The titanium dioxide in the cement mix reacts with sunlight, triggering a chemical reaction that speeds up the decomposition of dirt on the surface, thus effectively making it self-cleaning. In addition, the product is capable of breaking down nitrogen oxides present in the adjacent air, thus reducing the levels of pollution in the atmosphere within a range of 2.5 m of its surface, making it especially suited to applications in urban paving.

Roads in Italy and elsewhere in Europe are already using the product, called TX Active®, but Chicago claims to be the first city in the US to line its streets with the stuff. Italcementi estimates that, in a large city such as Milan, covering 15% of visible urban surfaces with products containing TX Active® would enable a reduction in pollution of approximately 50%.

Written by Katherine Guenioui.

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