Moss on the walls of buildings could counter air pollution

How can we combat the increase in air pollution in cities? Carpeting the facades of buildings with moss. It is the idea that has come to a start-up of the Technische Universit├Ąt Kaiserslautern, Germany, in relation to the increasingly pressing needs to mitigate the effects of air pollution in cities, effects that become even heavier with the increase in temperatures.

The new concept is developed by German researchers does not require, according to the creators themselves, particular maintenance and once it has taken root the moss begins to implement a sort of “self-greening” of the surface, reaching to cover, without negative side effects, the whole facade.

The side effects are averted due to the fact that moss, unlike most other plants, has no roots and captures the nutrients it needs from the air. They are able to filter various dusts and above all CO 2 from the air and in general can be considered plants that are well suited even in difficult places.

The idea came when the botanist Tobias Graf, who has been studying these plants for many years, analyzed their evolution and their history, in particular that related to about 400 million years ago. At that time the mosses were forming on Earth in response to the increasing number of volcanic eruptions that released many types of dust and CO 2 into the atmosphere. The moss took advantage of this new condition to grow and spread in multiple environments by capturing carbon dioxide in the air.

The new technology was named by researchers BryoSYSTEM. The system includes a unit made of concrete about one meter high and 15 cm wide, only a few centimeters deep, which can be easily attached in series on the walls of buildings. The unit is also equipped with special grooves bordered for irrigation and the system is designed to reuse rainwater. Compared to other plants for greening building facades, moss is green all year round and does not require expensive care.