Invisible Dust

London | Sunday 17 February
Pollution level: Moderate

Catalytic Clothing and Photocatalytic Pavements



Together artist and designer Professor Helen Storey and scientist Professor Tony Ryan are making innovations in wearable technology. Their project Catalytic Clothing explores how textiles might be used as a catalytic surface to purify air. Through uniting fashion and science the pair are seeking innovative ways to combat air pollution. Specifically, they have developed a smog-eating laundry detergent.

“Catalytic Clothing harnesses the power of a photocatalyst to break down air borne pollutants. When the light shines on the photocatalyst, the electrons in the material are rearranged and they become more reactive. These electrons are then able to react with the water in the air and break it apart into 2 radicals. A radical is an extremely reactive molecule. These radicals then react with the pollutants and cause them to break down into non-harmful chemicals.”

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands a smog-eating pavement has been introduced. Developed by scientist at the Eindhoven University of Technology, these Photocatalytic Pavements have been found to reduce the levels of nitrogen oxides in the environment by up to 45%.

Though integrating air purifying technologies into the urban environment and our everyday fashion these innovators are helping maximise our ability to counter air pollution locally and personally.

Invisible Dust is working with digital artist Kasia Molga and scientist Professor Frank Kelly, as part of Manchester European City of Science, to create an exciting new project ‘Human Sensor’. In July 2016, performs will traverse the city wearing air quality responsive illuminating capes created by Molga. This public performance will offer a rare opportunity for the public to engage with the issue of invisible pollutants though a visible, tangible, live artwork.


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