Ecover, a Belgium-based firm that manufactures ecological cleaning products, has apparently invented a material that can be applied to clothing to absorb and neutralize nitrogen oxides (NOx), which are released primarily by automobiles.
Soon, cleaning the air could be as simple as throwing on a pair of jeans and buttoning up a dress shirt. Researchers at the University of Sheffield, along with a team at Ecover, have developed "catalytic clothing," which claims to neutralize nitrogen oxides on the spot. The clothing, impregnated with titanium oxide, uses the power of the sun as a catalyst to absorb pollutants. The chemical reaction supposedly takes place without the wearer even noticing. We certainly hope this part is true.
It's believed a finalized version of NOx-absorbing clothes will be tested by consumers in mid-2012. However, there's a downside: limited use of this trick clothing will have virtually no impact on global air pollution. For the project to have any measurable effect, citizens across the globe will need to wear the high-tech garb.