Who could have imagined it? Gold particles used to color stained glass windows can actually purify the air around them. Scientist Zhu Huai Yong of Queensland University of Technology also found that despite the high cost of gold, this process is more economical than conventional air purification methods and commercialization is a future possibility.
When energized by the sun, tiny gold particles can destroy certain airborne pollutants. These pollutants, called volatile organic compounds, create the “new” smell often detected in new furniture, carpets and paint in good condition. Even in small amounts, these compounds, like methanol and carbon monoxide, are not good for your health.
An electromagnetic field generated by sunlight couples with the gold electrons’ oscillations to create a resonance, said Zhu. The magnetic field of the gold nanoparticles can expand up to a hundred times, breaking apart the pollutant molecules.