Ahlstrom has developed and patented a new technology consisting of a photocatalytic media combining a layer of active carbon with a nonwoven which successfully fixes the titanium dioxide, a natural catalyst. When covering a building, the photocatalytic material can store a significant amount of sludge, eliminating odor and odor pollution near the building. Ahlstrom tested this technology at its La Gere, France facility and when one-third of a 1500-meter-building was covered with the material, 3200 tons of sludge were stored. Additionally, studies showed that no odors were found within 50 meters of the building and up to 95% of the odor pollution was reduced from inside to outside.
According to Ahlstrom, the photocatalytic process allows the active carbon to stay active for four years. The filter media is produced at Ahlstrom's Tampere plant in Finland while the innovative buildings are manufactured and distributed by the group Locabri in France, which has created ICare, a company to market this unique concept of anti-odor building. The expectations of development are high considering that it can be used in many industrial applications such as compost stations, effluents from the food industry, sludge or mud treatments and already Ahlstrom has received the French Trophy of the Ecological and Economical Technoliges to the technology. The competition was organized by ADEME (French environment & energy control agency) and the prize presented on November 27 during Pollutec Horizons 2007, held in Villepinte, France.