Friday, January 9, 2009

Concrete Sculpture Reduces Air Pollution

Recent research into cement has produced concretes that actually reduce air pollution by chemically combining with some of those pollutants. These are called photocatalytic cements. On the scale of small sculpture this will not make a difference to the world's air quality, but in Dundee, Scotland, two artists have used the idea in a large outdoor sculpture in their city centre.

The sculpture is in the form of a car draped in a blanket, but the whole concrete form is white. As a conceptual piece, the sculpture is brilliant. It's as if the last car car in the world has been covered to protect it as a museum piece. At the same time it is healing the air, literally, through exposure to light which triggers a photocatalyst in the cement, which in turn decomposes certain toxic substances in the air such as nitrous oxide.

Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion are the two artists who designed the sculpture which was commissioned by Dundee City Council. It uses TX Aria cement which was first developed in Italy.

One of the ironies of the sculpture is that cement production itself generates large amounts of CO2, one of our primary greenhouse gases.

More information at:
Photo at:

Essroc Cement has brought this material (along with TX Arca cement, which is self cleaning) to North America. Concrete Decor has archived an article here:


Andrew Goss said...

Also see: for a very complete article on this suject.

tushar said...

Hey that's a good blog. I have heard this for the first time that concrete sculpture reduces air pollution. I think concrete sculpture should be there everywhere but Concrete Cleaning has to be done regularly. Thank you.

Andrew Goss said...

Just a comment: *only* special concretes with those particular additives mentioned in the article clean the air. All other concretes have no other effect on air quality at all - except in the production of Portland cement, which is unfortunately one of the world's largest contributors of greenhouse gases.