This was the first large scale installation of photocatalytic-TiO2 (p-TiO2) outside of Japan. Jubilee Church. Rome, Italy 2006.
Richard Meier's design of the Jubilee Church in Rome, Italy is noteworthy for its three "sails" and use of the mineral TiO2. Titanium dioxide or TiO2 is a white pigment used in everything from toothpaste to sunscreen to chewing gum.
So what was so special about using it here? The designers didn't want Rome's polluted urban air to discolor their characteristic white facade and turned to, not just TiO2, but photocatalytic TiO2 for the answer.
One particular form of the mineral titanium dioxide known as anatase TiO2 has a special property that makes it photocatalytic TiO2 (p-TiO2). Using p-TiO2 causes the white TiO2 surface to react with the air and increase the rate of oxidation for the surrounding pollutants.
Powered by sunlight, p-TiO2 can either harmlessly turn UV rays from the sun into heat or--if NOx, smog, or other pollutants are around--turn pollutants into harmless salts and gases. This process can be repeated millions of times per day helping to keep the building looking clean and the air fresh.
New York Times article
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