Innovation: Ozone destroyer

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The German chemical company Hoechst has invented a plastic that destroys ozone, the irritant gas that is such a significant component of urban air pollution.

The plastic is able to bind the three individual oxygen atoms of each ozone molecule within its structure. When the plastic is heated up, pure oxygen is released.

The company says it is negotiating with about 40 companies who are hoping to use the plastic in air conditioning systems and in sewage and swimming-pool equipment.

Unfortunately, Hoechst says there is no prospect of using the material for large-scale filtering of urban air. The company has also developed an ozone sensor intended for industrial safety applications.