Today, clean air is increasingly becoming a privilege that city dwellers are being deprived of. Smog, one of the most common air pollutants, is primarily the result of industrial emission and vehicular exhaust from internal combustion engines. To rid the air of this harmful gaseous concoction, designer Daan Roosegaarde has installed the world’s first and largest smog-sucking vacuum cleaner at Vierhavensstraat 52 in Netherlands’ Rotterdam area, Measuring around 7 m in height, the innovative Smog Free Tower works by cleaning the air in urban parks and cities of smog and other toxic pollutants.
After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the developers launched the pilot unit in Rotterdam on September 4 last year. Capable of purifying nearly 30,000 cubic meters of air every hour of super-fine smog particles, the giant vacuum cleaner is the result of three long years of research, following Roosegaarde’s visit to Beijing, a city known for the thick smog shrouding it at all times of the day. Designed to create special smog-free zones in public places, this colossal tower runs entirely on green energy, producing no waste whatsoever. Speaking about his invention, Roosegaarde said:
I believe we should do more, not less. We are happy to launch the Smog Free Tower to show a clean future.
Based on the same technology as indoor air purifiers, the Smog Free Tower has been scaled for outdoor use, especially in public parks and other urban locations. Shaped roughly like a hexagonal prism, the structure’s modular design makes it incredibly lightweight and easy to install. It functions on only 1,400 watts, which is equivalent to the amount of electricity consumed by a water boiler. Using a patented low-energy ionization technology, the system traps atmospheric smog from the top, releasing clean, filtered air through the vents present on all of its sides. According to its Kickstarter page:
By charging the Smog Free Tower with a small positive current, an electrode will send positive ions into the air. These ions will attach themselves to fine dust particles. A negatively charged surface—the counter electrode—will then draw the positive ions in, together with the fine dust particles. The fine dust that would normally harm us is collected together with the ions and stored inside of the tower. This technology manages to capture ultra-fine smog particles which regular filter systems fail to do.
The system is programmed to produce zero waste, repurposing the carbon particles collected from the smog into ingenious pieces of jewelry, such as the Smog Free Ring, the Smog Free Cufflinks and so on. Each of these contains a tiny compressed smog cube, derived from around 1,000 cubic meters of air. If everything goes according to plan, it won’t be long before the Smog Free Tower is erected in some of the busiest cities in the world, including Los Angeles, Mexico City, Beijing and Paris.
To know more about Roosegaarde and his project, click here.