Improving air quality by treating buildings with nanotechnology

Joma has created a non-toxic surface treatment for concrete buildings. It is based on nanoparticles which break down toxic gases in polluted areas.


Poor air quality is a threat to human health worldwide. According to WHO, 91 per cent of the world’s population live in places where the air quality exceeds their guideline limits, with one out of nine deaths every year being caused by polluted air. One of the most harmful pollutants is NOₓ gases, known to cause asthma and respiratory infections.

Non-toxic surface treatment

Joma makes surface-treatment products for concrete, from water-based titania nanoparticles. The products are non-toxic alternatives to other biocide-containing products on the market.

The Joma solution makes concrete surfaces self-cleaning, counteracting darkening and greening caused by algae and fungi. Joma products also have a water-repellent effect, protecting concrete from water penetration.

Crucially, the titania nanoparticles are photocatalysts, which means that they react with sunlight to speed up chemical reactions. This breaks NOₓ gases down to harmless nitrates, and organic compounds like bacteria, fungi and algae break down to CO₂ and water.

Concrete benefits

Joma’s nanotechnology improves urban air quality through the continuous removal of NOx from ambient air. The technology contributes to water and soil quality by reducing the need for chemical cleaning agents. In addition, the solution gives the treated surface area a self-cleaning effect, which reduces maintenance.

Market potential

The global photocatalyst products market size was estimated at USD 1.65 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 4.58 billion by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.5 per cent.

The Joma technology is first and foremost attractive to the self-cleaning and anti-greening market segment of the construction industry, where environmental and economic benefits represent key market drivers for concept acceptance. The solution can be used globally and can also be implemented by private households.

Joma was founded in 2005, with a dedicated R&D lab in Bergen.


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Heiane 2B, 5131 NYBORG, Norway

+47 414 08 177

At a glance

  • Non-toxic surface treatment for concrete buildings

  • Absorbs NOx from air around buildings

  • Makes buildings self-cleaning



Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals