Environment

Giant vacuum cleaner sucks up urban pollution

Giant vacuum cleaner sucks up ...
To combat air pollution, Envinity Group has developed a vacuum cleaner-like system that can scrub almost all particle pollutants out of the air
To combat air pollution, Envinity Group has developed a vacuum cleaner-like system that can scrub almost all particle pollutants out of the air
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To combat air pollution, Envinity Group has developed a vacuum cleaner-like system that can scrub almost all particle pollutants out of the air
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To combat air pollution, Envinity Group has developed a vacuum cleaner-like system that can scrub almost all particle pollutants out of the air

After 100-odd years of factories and cars belching out pollutants, the air we're breathing is far from fresh. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers airborne particles to be the most damaging pollutant to human health, and now a Dutch company has developed a creative solution: a giant vacuum cleaner that pulls in the equivalent of 32 Olympic swimming pools of air every hour and scrubs almost all toxic particles out of it. The end result is air that complies with European legislation on fine particle emissions.

According to WHO, an estimated 3 million premature deaths were the result of outdoor air pollution in 2012, and a whopping 92 percent of the world's population is living in areas with higher levels of airborne particles than is deemed safe. Both fine (defined as particles under 10 microns wide) and ultra-fine particles (those under 0.1 microns) are responsible, and over the years, we've seen some creative methods of combating the problem, like putting up huge bubbles of clean air over parks, installing purifying billboards and a Smog Free Tower in Beijing.

It's in this vein that Envinity Group throws its outdoor vacuum cleaner into the mix. The system is designed to sit on a rooftop in populated areas, or near sources of pollution like factories, and pull in 80,000 cubic meters (2.8 million cubic feet) of air per hour. Its reach extends as far as 300 m (984 ft) around it and 7 km (4.3 miles) directly upwards. Then, according to the company, a series of sub-processes filters out 100 percent of fine particles and 95 percent of ultra-fine ones, leaving the air clean and compliant with European legislation on the subject.

Though the Envinity Group unveiled the system at the Offshore Energy conference in Amsterdam this week, there's very little detail available on the device. We've contacted the company to find out how the particle waste is handled, for power and technical details and to see when the giant air purifier is likely to be released. We'll update you if/when we get a response.

Source: Envinity Group

11 comments
VirtualGathis
I'm confused as to why they are calling it a vacuum cleaner. It's not a vacuum cleaner at all. It's an industrial sized air purifier. Essentially just a scaled up Oreck air purifier.
xs400
Would be more efficient to stop or control pollution at the source. There was a similar 'news' article on Gizmag earlier, where someone said it would not help with pollen, but pollen is least of our problems, man made pollution can and should be cleaned up at the source - put all cars in a tunnel and clean up the air before it is released (better still make cars carry their own oxygen and treat the exhaust).
Digitalclips
Stopping the pollution in the first place is pretty key. However, if these things were 100% solar powered then maybe it's not a bad idea otherwise they'd just suck. Not sure how many times a day you'd need to replace the filter though in some places!
jetserf
China could use these.
mhpr262
And how much energy will this air cleaner be using during its 24/7 operation? And where and how do you discard the full filters?
DaveBG
Every small step is needed!
GWA111
If governments assisted in making clean-green vehicles affordable to the average worker - the emission levels would drop rapidly. These would be a good thing around factories and industrial areas that put out loads of crap into the air. Fact is, the technology to run cars on hydrogen produced from water has been readily available for many years - the petrol giants have constantly petitioned governments to hide the facts. One fact is plain though, petrol cars will continue to exist because the cost of living keeps rising and the wage of the average worker never keeps up. The common man in the street can't afford a Prius or a Tesla - get real people, governments need to step in and help. People want to help, but just can't afford to.
myale
Its not April the 1st is it? I think the last paragraph is all you need to read - as these are the most important questions - what happens to the waste - what is the frequency or filter change out, power uses, who pays for it all etc etc - else you are just moving one problem to another place
watersworm
@jetserf : Have you ever been in "China" , What part of this almost 10 millions km² ? Even Beijing is not a 365days polluted city (fortunately) And chinese life expectation has dramatically increased, specially in towns (more polluted than countryside ?). Thanks to you using vacuum cleaner brain.
MD
Factories. just add stack scrubbers, they should be mandatory these days, even in "developing" countries.