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Alcoa unveils self cleaning panels, invests in recycling

Alcoa Inc., which has manufacturing operations in Blount County, recently launched a new architectural panel for commercial buildings with a special coating that helps clean the panel and surrounding air.

Reynobond with EcoClean is an economically viable self-cleaning technology that reduces maintenance costs and helps with the decomposition of smog and other pollutants, from dirt to diesel fumes, which cling to building surfaces.

The product, developed with technology from Japanese manufacturer Toto, uses a titanium dioxide coating, called EcoClean, to the pre-painted aluminum surface of Reynobond. The result is an aluminum panel that, when combined with sunlight, acts as a catalyst to break down organic pollutants on its surface and in the air around it, like smog, into harmless matter which is then washed away by rainwater.

10,000 square feet of paneling has the same air cleaning capability of 80 trees, the company said.


In other 'green' Alcoa news, the company announced today it has become a minority investor in Electronic Recyclers International, the largest U.S. recycler of electronics waste.

"We see tremendous opportunity for aluminum in the consumer electronics market," said Alcoa Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer Kevin Anton. "This partnership between our two companies enhances Alcoa's ability to deliver on its commitment to sustainability by increasing the recycling of consumer electronics and driving sustainable practices."

Alcoa partnered with ERI in 2010 to develop the free Aluminate recycling app for iPhone, as part of the company's goal of increasing the recycling rate of aluminum cans in the U.S. to 75 percent by the year 2015.

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