An air purifier is considered to be a common household appliance and is certainly not considered to be exciting; a seven metre (22ft) tall smog filtering tower on the other hand could potentially be a revolutionary step forward for clean air technology.
This giant ‘Honey I blew up an appliance’ is situated in The Dutch city of Rotterdam and has been imagined by Bob Ursem, a nano particles expert and Co-designed by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde. The inner workings allow the skyscraper to “suck in dirty air like a giant vacuum cleaner, Ion technology then filters it, before returning bubbles of smog-free air through the tower’s vents”. The process is very efficient which allows the structure to clean 30,000 cubic metres of air every hour.
Testing in outdoor environments showed the filter was able to clean the air by 60%, to quantify this the measurements accounted for the share of nano particles removed.
The applications behind such a feat could in theory lead to implementations in countries which trade a booming economy for air quality, which is perfectly illustrated by the polluted smog in China where health warnings are a daily occurrence. A startling illustration of the scale of China’s pollution lies in the shutting of hundreds of factories and the removal of 5 million cars from the road in preparation for a parade, which saw the emergence of blue skies instead of dangerous toxic air.
There are limitations however, relying on technology as the sole response to an ever warming and toxic world is foolish, the root causes need to be tackled, which includes a reduction in pollution from manufacturing, transport and an end to the butchery of the Amazon Rainforest.
Furthermore, the filters which have been developed range from €1,600 (£1155.96) to more than €118,000 (£85,251.86), the developers of this tech have not disclosed the exact figure for the tower, but one would have thought it would be very costly.
A fascinating website by the name of the “world air quality index” provides an extensive data set on the levels of air pollution within many parts of the world, if you have a spare moment, it’s worth a look.