SmogStop 'eats up' emissions threat

It sounds too fantastic to be true. SmogStop is a “smog-eating” highway noise wall technology, aimed at removing traffic pollution from vehicles. It’s been tested on highways in Toronto and the UK and as visitors to Intertraffic can learn, this barrier, an Innovation Award finalist, can reduce overall air pollution, NOx and PM’s by some 50%.
March 29, 2022
Steve Barnes of Gramm Barrier Systems
Steve Barnes of Gramm Barrier Systems

The SmogStop Barrier, presented by Gramm Barrier Systems, features a double-walled design with an angled baffle to direct traffic emissions between two wall segments where a photocatalytic coating breaks down pollutants. The wall also generates air vortices and enhances vertical mixing of emissions with cleaner air, further decreasing pollution levels.

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation installed a 6.5-metre-high section along Highway 401 in Toronto, and results were monitored for eight months. Emissions from tailpipes, are channelled into the airspace to react with the coating and converted to nitrogen and oxygen. Cleaner air comes out of a gap at the bottom. It’s a solution that takes roadside air and, either through the action of the airflow or through the coating, substantially reduces pollution beyond the wall.

Advanced computer models and wind tunnel tests conducted by Western University and University of Guelph in Canada confirmed that SmogStop can reduce overall traffic emissions in downwind neighbourhoods by 58% compared with conventional noise barriers. National Highways in the UK trialled a smaller barrier at three metres last year.

“We see huge potential to save lives across Europe,” says Steve Barnes, business development manager for Gramm Barrier. “SmogStop actively removes the traffic emissions, unlike other barriers that simply block them, so we’re helping save the lives of drivers as well as residents behind the barriers. We’re also stopping smog formation.”  

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