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Self-cleaning concrete competing for The European Inventor Award

17 June 2014

An inventor of self cleaning concrete is one of fifteen finalists who will gather in Berlin today to compete for the European Inventor Award.

The annual prize is awarded to ground-breaking projects that contribute towards social, technological and economic progress.

Selected out of 300 original candidates, this year’s finalists include top scientists, engineers and inventors in the fields of biotechnology, construction, environment, mechanics, medical technology, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and traffic safety, divided into four categories: industry, small and medium-sized enterprises, research, lifetime achievement.

One of the projects competing in the final is Self Cleaning Concrete –an innovative new cement mixture that is self-cleaning and purifies air. It was developed by Italian chemist Luigi Cassar and his team at cement manufacturer Italcementi S.p.A.

The cement uses sunlight to break down pollutants into less harmful substances. This way, it not only lastingly prevents the effects of pollution; it also combats pollution itself. Cassar and his team achieved this breakthrough by enriching cement with titanium oxide minerals, which oxidise with sunlight to break down pollutants before they can bind with the surface and cause discolouration. The photocatalyst compound can be incorporated into mortar, paint, plaster, and even roads.

Past projects of the European Inventor Award, which have reached mass production, include the QR (Quick Response) code, now used in posters and magazines worldwide, and the cochlear implant which has helped more than 200 000 people diagnosed with profound deafness or severe hearing loss to hear again and recognise human voice.

Source: Forbes