Scientist Creates ‘Smog-Free’ Tower
September 20th, 2015 | by Kevin James Krotz
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.
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.
Image Source: Studio Roosegaard