London: Imagine advertisement flags coated with a special material at petrol pumps that remove harmful nitrogen oxide from the air or banners at heavy traffic intersections that absorb the pollution from cars.
A pollution busting formula pioneered by scientists at the University of Sheffield, has made it possible to help reduce traffic emissions at petrol stations and busy city intersections.
The formula has already been used in an innovative collaboration with the London College of Fashion to create clothes which clean the air while they are worn, and also to create the world`s first air cleansing poem.
The "In Praise of Air poem" by award winning writer Simon Armitage, professor of poetry at the University of Sheffield, is printed on material which is coated with microscopic pollution-eating particles of titanium dioxide which use sunlight and oxygen to react with nitrogen oxide pollutants and purify the air.
Displayed in the centre of Sheffield on one of the busiest routes into the city, the catalytic poem has helped absorb the pollution from 20 cars every day, the University said in a statement.
Its success has now inspired the potential roll out of catalytic flags to help reduce pollution at petrol stations.
"The poem`s language is a provocation to change people`s minds about the quality of our air, whereas the catalyst uses oxygen and sunshine as a reagent to neutralise a harmful pollutant - so both of them cleanse the air," said professor Tony Ryan who came up with the idea of using treated materials to clean the air.
The catalytic poem was manufactured by Northern Flags who also produce promotional flags and banners for petrol forecourts.
"This is an exciting opportunity to make a really positive impact on the environment around the areas where these flags and banners are displayed," added Iain Clasper-Cotte, managing director of Northern Flags.