Catalytic Clothing that eats dirty air

HI-TECH denim jeans that use nanotechnology to stop air pollution are to go on show at the London Design Festival, which starts later this week.

Given recent reports that show London’s air to be among the filthiest in Europe, a clothing solution could be just up London’s street. Especially if that street is Oxford Street or any other area with a high number of pedestrians.

“A significant reduction in the level of air borne pollutants in a large city such as London could be achieved if, for every metre of pavement width, 30 people wearing Catalytic Clothes walked past each minute,” say developers Catalytic Clothing.

The jeans, or any other clothing fitted with the new technology, “harness the power of a photocatalyst to break down air borne pollutants,” by using light as an energy source.

“When the light shines on the photocatalyst, the electrons in the material are rearranged and they become more reactive,” adds the Catalytic Clothing website.

Further reactions then “cause pollutants to break down into non-harmful chemicals”.

Any material can become a pollution eater with the addition of a sort-of conditioner containing the photocatalysts, but different materials need different catalyst set-ups.

For the purposes of demonstration, jeans fit the bill since, “there are more pairs of jeans in existence than there are people on the earth,” as the Catalytic Clothing people put it.

The nanotech denim – developed by a team at Sheffield University and another at the London College of Fashion – has been formed into a display called The Field of Jeans for the London Design Festival, which runs from 17-25 September.

catalytic clothing faq


Nanocatalysts could be helpful in reducing air pollution

(Nanowerk News) A research team at the chemical process technology laboratory of Tabriz University, Iran found solutions for reducing emissions of volatile organic compounds in air (“Catalytic Combustion of Ethyl Acetate over Nanostructure Cobalt Supported ZSM-5 Zeolite Catalysts”). They have recently found a new way by which the air pollution caused by chemical and petrochemical industries can be reduced using nanocatalysts.

In this project, a survey on catalytic oxidation of volatile organic compounds including oxygen compounds via improved ZSM-5 with Cobalt, copper, binary metal compounds and another survey on the effects of these nanocatalysts on removing these compounds were conducted. “First, the improved ZSM-5 catalysts were synthesized with different percentages of Cobalt via wet impregnation, and then they were washed and dried. Next, noted nanocatalysts were fixed in a glass reactor in specific amounts,” Aligholi Niabi, senior member of the research team said.

Then in a catalytic oxidation set up, ethyl acetate polluted air flows with specific concentrations entered the reactor (at different temperatures), and were converted on the surface of catalysts, at last the outputs were analyzed by gas chromatography (GC) and GC-Mass, Niabi added.

Results demonstrate obtaining a rather a more pure air. Now this team is applying the project on a power plant in East Azerbaijan.

Nanocatalysts could be helpful in reducing air pollution

Photocatalytic Degradation Of VOCs, Toxics And Odors From Air Emissions Of Wastewater Treatment Plants And Municipal Solid Waste Landfills

Authors: Upadhyay, Mita Suresh
Sattler, Melanie


The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) require more stringent controls of sources of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). Air quality managers at the state level are responsible for developing State Implementation Plans (SIPs) to improve regional air quality. Both wastewater treatment and landfills facilities are sources of VOCs, HAPs and odors. This research examines the effectiveness of photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) in treating emissions from wastewater and landfill facilities. PCO rate constants of compounds such as methane, o-xylene, m-xylene, p-xylene and carbonyl sulfide are determined over titanium dioxide (TiO2) catalyst in a continuous mixed-batch reactor. The PCO destruction rates indicated first order decay. Destruction rate was higher for smaller molecules like methane and carbonyl sulfide and lower for complex molecules like xylenes. The destruction rate also depended on humidity. Research concludes that PCO is a promising method to treat emissions from smaller sources.