Next spring a special coating on the radiators of Volvo's S80 model will begin removing ozone from the air. The automaker will begin equipping that model with Engelhard Corp.'s PremAir catalyst system.
As air passes over the catalyst, the system converts ozone molecules into non-harmful oxygen. Tests show that as much as 75% of the ozone that flows through the radiators is converted. The system doesn't affect a car's exhaust fumes, but, according to the company, it will "partially offset the level of ozone production from the exhaust of a modern car equipped with a catalytic converter."
Ozone exists at different levels in the atmosphere. The upper atmosphere, 15-25 km above the earth, is helpful for blocking harmful UV rays, but close to earth ozone becomes a pollutant.