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Scientist Creates ‘Smog-Free’ Tower

September 20th, 2015 | by

Tower Purifies a Million Cubic Feet Of Air Per Hour

Sitting in a park in Rotterdam lies a nearly 25 foot tower. This metal tower is helping the people surrounding it breath just a little better, okay, maybe a lot better.

The Smog Free Tower came about from a collaboration between Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde, Delft Technology University researcher Bob Ursem and European Nano Solutions. By ionizing airborne smog particles, the tower can clean up to 1 million cubic feet of air every hour. These particles are ultra-small, about only 10 micrometers in diameter, and can be harmful to the heart and lungs if they’re inhaled.

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Particle Ionization Is Key To The Tower’s Power

According to the report by Wired, Ursem, who has been working on ionization since the early 2000s, says the tower uses a radial ventilation system at the top of the tower brings in dirty air to a chamber that positively charges any particles that are larger than 15 micrometers. Those positively charged particles then attach themselves to a grounded counter electrode in the chamber and finally clean air is pushed out.

Could Purification Like This Work On A Large Scale?

While the tower is one of the biggest applications of ionization ad shows promise in the area, others aren’t so sure about it. Eileen McCauley, a manager of the California Air Resources Board’s research division, told Wired of her concerns about the logistics about using the technology on a large scale.

“The proposed technology, while not new, would need to be well demonstrated on a large scale in a highly polluted urban area,” said Eileen McCauley.

It remains to be seen if something like this could work on a larger scale than what is currently being shown in Rotterdam. Roosegaarde is planning to take his tower on a “smog-free tour” to test its abilities in cities around the world. Until then, that park in Rotterdam seems pretty nice.

Source: Wired
Image Source: Studio Roosegaard

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