Smog Free Bicycle would tackle China pollution with pedal power
With its Smog Free Tower up and running and already making inroads into Beijing's infamous smog, Studio Roosegaarde is now looking to expand its arsenal of pollution-fighting tools with a bike that purifies the air around it.
We first caught wind of Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde's Smog Free Tower back in 2015. Standing 7 m tall and 3.5 m thick (23 x 11.5 ft), the wind-powered structure creates a localized bubble by releasing positively charged ions into the air. These attach to fine dust particles that are then sucked back inside and captured by an internal negatively-charged surface.
The latest study into the effectiveness of the Smog Free Tower, carried out by scientists from Eindhoven University of Technology, found that it is able to capture up to 70 percent of ingested PM10 particles (10 micrometers or less in diameter) and up to 50 percent of PM2.5 particles (2.5 micrometers or less). In a 41 period day last year, it cleaned 30,000,000 cu m (1,060,000,000 cu ft) of air, a volume equal to 10 of Beijing's 91,000-capacity National Stadiums.
Now Roosegaarde wants to build this technology into a bicycle as a way of incentivizing people to leave their cars at home, a move intended to tap into the growing popularity of bike-share programs in China. The bike is only at the concept stage right now and there's no detail on a potential release or technical intricacies, but the idea is that it would inhale air, clean it and then release it around cyclists as they pedal across town.
"Beijing used to be an iconic bicycle city," says Roosegaarde. "We want to bring back the bicycle as a cultural icon of China and as the next step towards smog free cities."
Source: Studio Roosegaarde