This roofing material turns smog pollution into water and could make a major impact on California’s air quality.
3M has developed “cool roofing” granules that are activated by sunlight in a process known as photocatalysis.
“All of our roofing granules have a coating on them and with the smog-reducing granules, it’s just a different type of coating, it’s a photocatalytic coating,” 3M Plant Manager Angie Byars explained. “And how that works is when it’s on the roof, the sunlight actually activates that coating.”
Traditionally, roofing material reflects sunlight to help keep buildings cool.
3M is one of the largest roof materials suppliers in the country and other leading companies such as Malarkey Roofing in Oregon are already on board. Malarkey Roofing is slated to use 3M’s smog-fighting granules in all of their roofing shingles. Californians can replace the roofing with this new material and improve air quality in their communities at the same time.
But these pollution-fighting granules alone won’t completely solve smog pollution in California. Addressing air quality issues mandates further regulation and higher air quality standards across the country. While California has passed initiatives to promote clean air and fight climate change, more regulation is needed at the federal level.