Engineers have released plans for a 5-km-high skyscraper that eats smog
CHRIS WELLER, BUSINESS INSIDER, 15 JAN 2017
2017 only just arrived, but one manufacturing company is already looking 45 years into the future.
Arconic, a materials science company, has envisioned a 3-mile-high (4.8-km) skyscraper built from materials that are either in-development or have already been brought to market, including smog-eating surfaces and retractable balconies.
The tower was concocted as part of the company’s larger campaign known as The Jetsons, an homage to the 1962 cartoon set in 2062. Arconic’s engineers worked alongside futurists to imagine the technologies that will be most useful several decades from now.
Sherri McCleary, one of Arconic’s chief materials scientists, says one of the most exciting and immediate projects is EcoClean, a special coating that helps buildings self-clean and purify the surrounding air.
It was first released in 2011 and offers a number of benefits over traditional pane glass windows, McCleary says.
"The functional coating provides aesthetics, it provides maintenance benefits, and it also provides a benefit to the surrounding environment by reducing the content of pollutants around it," she tells Business Insider.
EcoClean works with help from light and water vapour, which mix with the chemicals in the coating to produce atoms known as free radicals.
These free radicals pull in pollutants from the air and break them down to get sloughed off the side of the building along with dirt and grime - almost like dead skin.