NO2 & VOCS depollution in garage prototypes using innovative concretes and mortars

13 November 2019

Javierre, I., Horgnies, M., Serre, F., Dubois-Brugger, I.

In WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, 2017, 211, 221-227.

Air pollution produced by road traffic is an issue for public health and is responsible for the rise of acute respiratory diseases in urban areas. Some of the most toxic air pollutants, composed of nitrogen oxides (especially nitrogen dioxide, NO2) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), are significantly detected in the poorly ventilated areas. The depolluting cement-based materials studied by LafargeHolcim do not rely on photo-catalysis and function without sunlight, which is especially suitable for use in polluted confined areas (such as tunnels or parking garages). The experiments carried out in the laboratory demonstrated that an addition of activated carbons into concrete and mortar improved the absorption properties of these noxious gases without affecting their mechanical properties and durability. Two parking garages of 18 m3 were built with internal walls made of depolluting concrete (or coated by a depolluting mortar) to measure their performances. The tests conducted using a gasoline-based generator (to produce a cocktail of air pollutants) confirmed a significant reduction of the NO2 rate and noticeable abatements of certain VOCs (such as benzene and toluene).