What material can you find in toothpaste, sunscreen, solar cells, on the baseline at Wimbledon, in a Roman church, and along a tunnel in Brussels?
Full marks if you guessed titanium dioxide, a nearly ubiquitous but wholly unsung material.
Its brilliant white has made it a staple in pigments – hence Wimbledon – but its eco-credentials are still coming to the fore.
Titanium dioxide does a couple of clever tricks that mean we may well be seeing a lot of it in the future: it’s self-cleaning, and it breaks down pollutants in the air.
And the fact that thin films of it are clear is the reason that a number of manufacturers use it in glass applications such as skylights — via redwolf.newsvine.com