Smog scrubbing tower cleans up in Beijing

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The Smog Free Tower is able to clean the surrounding air in 360 degrees, effectively creating a bubble of clean air(Credit: Studio Roosegaarde)

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After debuting in the Dutch cities of Rotterdam and Amsterdam last year, Studio Roosegaarde's Smog Free Tower has taken on its biggest challenge yet. It opened in Beijing, China, at the end of September and, in 41 days, cleaned 30,000,000 cu m (1,060,000,000 cu ft) of air.

Studio Roosegaarde says that equates to about 10x the volume of Beijing's Bird's Nest stadium. From that, it is said to have captured billions of the finest harmful airborne particles (those 2.5 micrometers (µM) or less) during that time, and over 75 percent of particles between 2.5 µM or less and 10 µM in size in the vicinity of the tower.

The tower requires 1,700 W to operate and uses a current to send positively-charged ions out into the surrounding air that attach themselves to particulate matter. These particles are then attracted back into the tower and captured by an internal negatively-charged surface. It is able to clean the surrounding air in 360 degrees, effectively creating a bubble of clean air.

The smog particles that are collected are compressed into small cubes and used to create jewelry. Each cube contains 1,000 cu m (35,300 cu ft) of particles and is set into a ring that can be worn as a souvenir of clean air. In Beijing, 300 limited edition rings have been made using the particles collected.

Studio Roosegaarde suggests that the Smog Free Tower could serve as a means of cleaning air in localized areas such as parks and public spaces. It is said to have attracted many visitors during its time in Beijing and will now be toured around a number of other Chinese cities.

The video below shows the results of the Smog Free Tower in Beijing.

View gallery - 12 images

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