According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) you can go days without food and hours without water, but you can only last a few minutes without air. On average, each person takes over 3,000 gallons of air each day. Nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor, and inert gases are typical in the air but add soot, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and chemical vapors and you have a recipe for disaster. Though pollution in not only limited to the air, it can contaminate the water we drink and the soil we use to grow our food, it is a problem that is difficult to solve until now.
The Smog Free Tower, is the latest technology to help clean the air of pollution. Created by Daan Roosegaarde it was successfully crowdfunded and tested in Rotterdam, the tower can clean an incredible 30,000 cubic meters of air per hour by sucking up toxic particles.
Currently these towers are not capable of cleaning entire cities and are used in smaller areas such as parks and toxic civic spaces. Towers are being planned for cities around the world such as Beijing, Paris, Los Angeles, and Mexico City.
The towers are 20 feet long, wonderfully designed, and run on 1,400 watts, which is pretty low key. They use small positive currents to charge ions to turn smog into dust particles. These particles are then processed by the tower, compressed, put into small cubes, and turned into jewelry such as rings. These pieces are then given to backers of the project and other supporters, which is very creative.
Each cube or “Smog Free Cube” is about 1000 m3 of clean air.
According to Pure Earth, pollution is one of the biggest global threats, which affects over 200 million people around the world and kills tens of thousands each year, many of them are children, according to the EPA.
While these towers may not immediately clean the air, they are the first step to what could possibly be a new wave of technology to fight the spread of pollution and the disastrous effects that it can have.