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Things To Know » The Hague performs an innovative environmental experiment in the Koningstunnel

The Hague performs an innovative environmental experiment in the Koningstunnel

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The Municipality of The Hague launches on 25 April 2013 a unique experiment using airpurifying paint in the Koningstunnel. KNOxOUT Europe BV, as commissioned by the Municipality for a one-year trial, works together with its partners to install an innovative air quality system: a special paint with ultrafine titanium dioxide (TiO₂) and UV lighting, that breaks down pollutants like nitrogen oxides (NOx). If the trial is successful, then the KNOxOUT solution may become a benchmark for air quality solutions in tunnels worldwide.

“The Municipality has entered into a “no cure no pay” agreement for this project. In this manner, we are able to stimulate the innovativeness of the involved parties to jointly tackle air pollution,” said Rabin Baldewsingh, The Hague's alderman for Sustainability.

The KNOxOUT solution consists of an air-cleaning paint, which contains an active, patented ultrafine ingredient called CristalACTiV™. A specially designed UV light source with a specific spectrum and strength was mounted to achieve the maximum conversion of the pollutants. Through a photo catalytic process, this active ingredient allows the release of so-called freeradicals that break down pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx).

“This environmental solution brings together three technological fields – chemistry, light, and air quality. For this project in The Hague, we have joined forces with four other companies and it is in this atmosphere of open communication and cooperation, together with the Municipality, that we were able to bring the best possible solution forward,” said Henry Sprenkels, Director of KNOxOUT Europe and consortium leader.

KNOxOUT Europe BV is the European agent of the paint manufacturer Pacific Paint, using the active ingredient CristalACTiV™ from Cristal. Philips is responsible for the specially designed UV lighting system, Heijmans for the physical installation, and Everts for the painting.

The Municipality of The Hague has contracted the Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and the DCMR Environmental Protection Agency (DCMR Milieudienst Rijmond) to do an independent monitoring of the air quality in the tunnel and around the exit portal close to the residences at the Lekstraat exit for the trial period.

This project is a part of the Municipality’s Air Quality Program that aims to meet the European Union’s air quality norms by year 2015. In bottlenecks where air quality is insufficient such as the area around the Lekstraat, a transparent screen with a maximum height of 4.5 meters will be installed between the tunnel portal and the homes along the exit. The results of the trial will determine whether the height of the screen can be lower.

KNOxOUT Europe BV, the consortium leader for the trial phase, is the agent of the Asian manufacturer of the KNOxOUT coating in Europe. KNOxOUT is produced by Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines, Inc., the country’s leading supplier of premium paints and other innovative coatings.

Cristal is the developer and producer of CristalACTiV™, an ultrafine titanium dioxide (TiO₂), which gives aircleaning properties to the KNOxOUT paint. Cristal is the second biggest supplier in the world of pigmentary TiO₂, the world leader in ultrafine TiO₂, and Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines, Inc.’s research and development partner.

Philips, in particular Philips-Indal, which is a part of the Professional business of Philips Lighting, is a world leader in outdoor lighting solutions, especially in tunnels. It has designed the luminaires and has developed the UV lighting needed to activate the CristalACTiV™ in KNOxOUT.

Heijmans is one of the biggest construction companies in the Netherlands and is responsible for the installation of the lighting system. Heijmans will act as consortium leader after the trial phase, should the Municipality decide to have the KNOxOUT solution installed throughout the Koningstunnel.

Everts, particularly Everts Schilderwerken, is a Dutch company with extensive experience in diverse painting projects. It is responsible for the cleaning, preparation and coating of tunnel walls and ceilings.