Reducing On-Road Microplastic Pollutants (RAMP)

Microplastic debris from tire-wear and brake-wear particles that enter our waterways from our roads is a major contributor to both water and air pollution. Self-cleaning, cool photocatalytic pavements, enhanced with titanium dioxide (TIO2), help purify stormwater while mitigating mold and bacteria growth on asphalt and concrete infrastructure.

TiO2 is highly efficient at fully degrading microplastics.

It’s been reported that more than 85 percent1 of the microplastics polluting our oceans and one-third of PM2.5 air quality contaminants come from road-associated microplastics (aka RAMPs). TiO2 is highly efficient at fully degrading microplastics. In fact, independent studies have confirmed that photocatalytic-grade titanium is 98 percent effective at removing microplastics2, including but not limited to those microplastics found in RAMPs.

Our coastal communities are particularly vulnerable to microplastic pollutants as micro-particles shredded from on-road tires and brake-pad wear migrate into the streams and rivers adjacent to roadways, and then make their way into nearby oceans and lakes.

PTI is working with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) on advanced testing of our PlusTi® family of photocatalytic technology to degrade roadway microplastics. Results of that research are expected to become available by summer of 2022.

Read more about Roadway Microplastic Pollution & TiO2 here.

  1. Carrington, “Airborne Plastic Pollution ‘Spiraling Around the Globe,” The Guardian, April 12, 2020
  2. Nabi I and Bacha A, et al., “Complete Photocatalytic Mineralization of Microplastic on TiO2 Nanoparticle Film,” iScience, July 24, 2020