Photocatalytic building materials clean the air for harmful NOx

As a Danish Clean Tech company, who has spent more than 10 years on developing, patenting and commercialising a photocatalytic technology we strive to take part in defining the standard for sustainable buildings; both now and in the future.

There is no better place to define the standard for tomorrows buildings than DGNB, who not only is agenda-setting but also takes sustainability to a new level. Furthermore, DGNB has a dedicated team and active and forward-thinking members, which is the core of why we value our membership of DGNB highly.

Even though we are situated in the greater Copenhagen area, we still benefit from our membership of DGNB, as it connects us with like-minded people. This is particularly the case, as our photocatalytic technology represents an exclusive add on to building facades; transforming the passive surfaces into active air cleaners.

The photocatalytic technology

The photocatalytic technology functions as the well-known catalysts from cars. However, instead of using heat as a source of energy it uses natural sunlight. When the surfaces treated with the photocatalytic technology is exposed to sunlight they transform the harmful NOx gasses into harmless nitrate salt in vast form. Moreover, the technology has a self-cleansing effect, as the surfaces are cleaned by the rain.

The photocatalytic technology was discovered in 1972 and has since gone through a tremendous development. Our version of the technology, NOxOFF, represents the third generation, which has a documented high efficacy, is transparent and by far the most tested in real-life tests, one of which being in a two-year demonstration test in Copenhagen Airport. The results showed a 13% reduction of NOx concentrations on a daily average and up to 24% during peak hours of both sunlight and NOx concentrations. The NOxOFF technology is further well documented by various EN and ISO standards, which results highlight that our technology is state of the art and therefore non-comparable with the well-known first generation.

Socio-economic instrument

The photocatalytic technology is a tangible instrument to combat air pollution, as it reduces the socio-health costs on a yearly basis and hence, is very cost-effective. 50 m2 of e.g. concrete surfaces treated with our NOxOFF technology removes 1 kg of NOx per year, which corresponds to what an average passenger car emits on a yearly basis. Furthermore, 1 kg of NOx cost the German state 17 euros per year in socio-health costs, emphasizing the cost-effectiveness of investing in sustainability.

DGNB has created a family dedicated to sustainability and as a new member we already feel more than welcome and look forward to a close cooperation with DGNB as an organisation as well as with like-minded members. No other place feels more like home to us.

Thomas Becker

Geschrieben von:

Thomas Becker is a partner and COO at the Danish clean tech company Photocat A/S and a board member of various national and international associations. Previously, Thomas worked as the CEO of the European Wind Energy Association and as CEO for Genan Business & Development A/S. Prior to these positions, Thomas held the position of Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Climate and Energy, he was the Danish Chief Negotiator and leading official on climate change in the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).

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