Stained glass windows = solar-powered nanotech air-purifiers

The medieval glaziers who made the cathedral in Chartres and the Duomo of Milan so breathtaking inadvertently made the taking of said breath healthier.

It’s the gold paint they used that acts as an air purifier when light shines through the glass.

[Associate professor at Queensland University of Technology] Zhu [Huai Yong] said that tiny gold particles found in medieval gold paint react with sunlight to destroy air-borne pollutants like volatile organic chemicals/compounds (VOCs), which are emitted from paints, lacquers, and glues, among other things.

“These VOCs create that ‘new’ smell as they are slowly released from walls and furniture, but they, along with methanol and carbon monoxide, are not good for your health, even in small amounts,” Zhu said.

When interacting with gold particles, sunlight creates an electromagnetic field that reacts with the oscillating electrons in the gold. This field resonates and breaks apart pollutants in the air, according to Zhu.

No wonder churches smell so great. I sense a new/old trend in Green building coming on. No more overpriced Sharper Image ionizer things; just glorious stained glass in every window.

:hattip: The Cranky Professor

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15 Comments »

Comment by Dina
2008-08-28 07:13:50

I love this! Always knew old churches were good for your health.

Comment by livius drusus
2008-08-28 07:34:58

Unless you’re Thomas Becket. :giggle:

Comment by Dina
2008-08-28 11:13:57

Ah but I’m not.

Comment by livius drusus
2008-08-28 11:42:31

I’m glad to hear it. I think your brain looks much nicer firmly ensconced in its skull. :skull:

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Comment by Livia
2008-08-29 06:34:45

Wow, that’s flat out amazing!

Comment by livius drusus
2008-08-29 08:15:51

Makes you want to replace all the windows in your house, doesn’t it? :)

 
 
Comment by Amana PTAC
2009-04-07 11:49:16

Wow i never knew that about gold paint. who knew it acted as an air filter.

Comment by livius drusus
2009-07-01 10:55:49

I sure didn’t. Now if only I could afford gold painted stained glass windows, I’d be set. :giggle:

 
 
Comment by linda
2010-01-16 07:25:03

my small business has been doing R/D in order to discover if this technology can be utilized in the effort to make clean coal technology a reality.

Comment by livius drusus
2010-01-16 08:50:48

Fascinating. Are VOCs a major factor in coal production, or is your company thinking the gold/sun purification can filter CO2 as well?

Comment by linda and pat
2010-01-19 07:27:33

we are doing some R/D in regard to CO2, but this is expensive and almost out of our reach, however we are trying to initiate its study and application.

Comment by livius drusus
2010-01-19 08:44:24

Best of luck to you. It would be a neat thing to use an ancient artistic technique as the basis for a modern purification technology.

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Comment by Window Repair
2010-03-03 15:41:46

If this were true of all stained glass, would more people return to church on Sundays? A purification of the lungs and soul.

I hope Linda’s research pays off. If not, I look forward to installing some gold flecked windows into the rich mansions here in LA. Then they can be “green” and baroque.

 
Comment by Carol
2011-06-03 18:17:27

Fascinating! I’ve been working with stained glass for over 18 years now and there is sooooo much more to learn.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-06-03 18:35:16

Do you still use gold paint like they did in Medieval cathedrals? You could have a whole line of business dedicated to ionizing stained glass. It would make a great selling point, even if it was more costly.

 
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