Two years back, Dutch innovator visited Beijing and experienced some of the worst of Beijing’s smoggy days. He was inspired to build his Smog Free Tower; this idea led to the world’s largest air purifier being created. The Smog Free Tower has been tested in Rotterdam and will visit Beijing this September.
The Smog Free Tower
The seven-meter-high Smog Free Tower works in a similar way to normal air purifiers: it sucks in smog from its top, removes particles of ultra fine smog , and pumps out 30,000 cubic meters of clean air per hour through vents on its six sides. In this case, it takes only a day and a half to purify the air of an area the size of a football-pitch.
Apart from creating a clean environment, the Smog Free Tower is an environmentally friendly device itself: it is wind-powered and uses no more electricity than an electric water heater.
In addition, the mobile purifier can be shipped and re-installed in a week’s time, according to its designer Roosegaarde.
“Bubbles” of clean air
“Pollution, it’s really weird that we accept it as something normal and take it for granted,” said Roosegaarde in a YouTube video. “I wanted to create a place where citizens, makers, NGOs and governments can experience clean air, a bubble of clean air, where people can think, meet, and work together on how to make a whole city smog-free.”
Roosegaarde said that the Smog Free Tower alone may create “bubbles” of clean air, but cannot really rid cities of air pollution for good. Nevertheless, it may remind us of our mission and responsibility to defend an important human right – the right to breathe in clean air.
Liu Guozheng, general secretary of China Forum of Environmental Journalists (CFEJ), agreed that the project will call on more people to protect the environment.
The CFEJ launched in June a project the “removing smog action”, and invited the Smog Free Tower to Beijing as part of the project. Additionally, the Tower will also visit another four cities in China – as to which four, there is an online vote for Chinese netizens to decide.
China’s own outdoor air purifier
In Xi’an of Shaanxi Province, in an area of 2,580 square meters, there is a solar-powered air-purifying system, a key project under the Institute of Earth Environment of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The system removes particles and chemicals such as PM 2.5 and mono-nitrogen oxides from the air so as to control the formation of smog. Details as to the system’s performance and effects are not available yet, according to Chinese publication The Paper.
Data from Beijing Municipal Bureau of Environmental Protection show that, in 2015, only 186 days had the air ranked as being good or “okay”; that is to say, 49% of the time, Beijing was shrouded in smog.
Furthermore, last December China saw its first “red alert” level air pollution warning, the most severe air pollution warning in China. Furthermore, Beijing raised the “red alert” threshold this March, meaning that an even higher amount of PM 2.5 must be in the air for it to even register as a “red alert” day.
Something special: a piece of smog jewelry
Going back to the Smog Free Tower, smog collected from 1,000 cubic meters of air is compressed for 30 minutes before being sealed into blocks of “solid smog”, with the component chemicals of the smog compressed into solid solid form. This is then sold as a bizarre form of jewelry, for use in items such as rings and cuff-links.
“By sharing a smog-free ring, you donate 1,000 cubic meters of clean air to the city,” said Roosegaarde.
Profits earned from the sold jewelry items will be used for further research and development on projects that remove smog.
(Top photo from Techinsider.io)