Researchers at the University of Twente, a self-described entrepreneurial research university in The Netherlands, have developed a new paving material that could help clear the air in urban areas.
The active component in the concrete is titanium dioxide which reacts with one of the main pollutants in automobile exhaust: nitrogen oxide (also known as NOx). The concrete actually uses the sun's energy to convert the pollution into a more benign form, known as nitrates, which are then washed away by the rain.
According to the university's website, "as an added bonus, the stones repel dirt and therefore always stay clean".
The university is working with the municipality of Hengelo to pave a test section of a road that was already undergoing reconstruction, with the first results available in summer 2009.
Clean and green roads! Who would have thought?!