Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) is an emerging new technology which is revolutionizing the cleaning business. All over the place you see filthy buildings, sidewalks and so on, all a result from smog, mold, and ultimately the effects of time.
Titanium Dioxide is THE technology which supersedes the need for the destructive methods of pressure washing and bleach cleaning.
So how does this technology fit in to the changing world? Well, as any facilities cleaning technician knows, up until recently the only way to clean buildings and sidewalks was generally with bleach and pressure washing. Both of these are well known to be destructive; the pressure washing will wear down the concrete or shingles, while bleach will kill plants and sometimes cause unwanted discoloration.
When using TiO2, nano particles act as a photocatalytic agent; that is, they react with ultraviolet light to produce an effect. In this case, the particles of TiO2, when working in tandem with sunlight, produce particles of hydrogen peroxide which creates a self-cleaning surface once treated. Not only does this cut down on the amount of labor needed for cleaning purposes, these particles are entirely non-toxic and environmentally friendly.
In addition to the cleaning advantages of TiO2, there are some different environmental advantages to using it over traditional products such as bleach. As we know, bleach is super toxic and will kill anything it touches, and we always try to find any excuse not to use it unless we absolutely have to.
As it turns out, titanium dioxide also reacts with the air it comes in contact with and cleans that as well. There is a case in Mexico City in particular which details how the usage of self cleaning buildings has helped to improve the air quality around the building and within the city itself:
When near areas of high traffic or otherwise concentrated pollutants, TiO2 has been proven to provide for better air quality. In the case of the company behind the above referenced building, they actually produce titanium dioxide-infused tiles instead of a coating. In any case, the technology works the same and produces desirable results which stay clean and help the environment prosper. Imagine if this coating was used on our National monuments or on ancient buildings in high-smog areas such as the Colosseum! The Washington Monument would be stark white always!
As we well know, it takes a long time for a new technology to catch on. Smartphones were around for nearly two decades before the smartphone craze caught on with the introduction of iPhone in 2007. This is no different. Of course people in pressure washing businesses hate the thought of titanium dioxide because it would in effect put them out of business, so I say: let them become applicators instead! We all really have an obligation to ourselves and to our environment to see this new technology forward. The proof is in the pudding and the results are amazing.