In cities, it can be ten degrees warmer than in surrounding rural areas because of the heat island effect. Besides being very uncomfortable for citizens, it can have dangerous health impacts during heat waves. It also leads to more energy spent on, for example, air conditioning. Pavement Technology Inc has developed a treatment for the roads in order to address this issue.
The new treatment is called A.R.A-1 Ti. The spray-on was developed in collaboration with Louisiana State University researchers. The treatment’s base is titanium oxide which is a common ingredient in paint and sunscreen. The spray works as a photocatalyst, which means the ultraviolet light from the sun activates the compound’s electrons that disperse heat and light.
Besides helping to cool down cities, the spray contributes to better air quality by absorbing exhaust fumes from cars. The company explains to Gizmodo that spraying one mile of road with this product provides the same air quality benefits as planting 20 acres of trees. In addition to this, it can rejuvenate aging roads and, in the long run, reduce the frequency of repaving.
Already, the cities of Orlando, Charlotte, Raleigh, Greenville, and Charleston are testing the new spray-on and sending samples of the road to researchers at Texas A&M University to confirm the capability of the spray-on treatment.
These kinds of innovations, combined with restoring projects, lead to optimistic outlooks for the future - and make it come sooner.