What is The Solution to Smog? A Vacuum!

Smog. Seems like a pretty straightforward noun. But we live in an age of revolutions, of new technologies, of constant discoveries about ourselves and others, and of constant expansion. All of these wonderful things come with a heavy price-tag though. A steady increase in pollution, more specifically: an increase in smog buildup. As we build taller buildings, fly to higher heights, produce more goods to use, and drive oil driven cars, we inevitably produce more and more smog! Might it be due to our overpopulation as well? However! We may be heading towards a solution of sorts.

Related Article: Warning: Weather Hazards Ahead

Daan Roosegaarde, a Dutch artist and innovator, has created an “electronic vacuum cleaner” that cleans the air of smog by drawing smog particles down to electric copper coils that create an electrostatic field. The copper coils are implanted into the ground and the weak electrostatic field created by these electric coils is enough to clear the sky of smog and expose the shining sun. This animation represents the idea and the possibilities that this “electronic vacuum cleaner” will provide! In an interview with De Zeen Magazine, Roosegaarde says:

It’s a similar principle to if you have a statically charged balloon that attracts your hair, if you apply that to smog, to create fields of static electricity of ions, which literally attract or magnetize the smog so it drops down so you can clean it, like an electronic vacuum cleaner.

How cool is that?! Beijing thinks it’s very cool. In fact, so cool that the mayor of Beijing has signed on Roosegaarde to create a park to showcase the technology! Roosegaarde’s team will be actively refining the technology for the next 18 months, after which it will be put into play in a large scale park, finally ridding the air of smog in a public place in Beijing. This technology does have its limitations however. The area from which the smog will be cleared has to be surrounded by these coils, meaning there has to be a trench dug around all of Beijing in order for all the smog to be cleared away. Also, in the next 18 months, the artist and his team have to figure out how to make this technology work on a large scale.

Related Article: A Cheaper Alternative To Pollution

The technology was originally put into play in a 5 x 5 meter room where the smog was sucked down and then physically laid on the ground. The artist has great ambition with this project:

What I would like to do is capture all that smog and then compress it. So for example you could make a smog ring of all the smog in a cubic kilometer. It would show the reality and question why we accept it.

Roosegaarde also says the technology is completely safe and if one were to step over the coils nothing would happen. The coils give off such a low electric field that it is even “pacemaker safe”.

Related Article: Costly Climate Changes

This is indeed one way to clean up our act, but it may only be contained to public places as Daan Roosegaarde mentions. It is great to hear about new inventions that are countering our pollution and smog increase, but we always have to ask ourselves what else we can do to help! Ultimately, the artist plans to open our eyes! He wants people to realize how bad it is really getting with pollution, and that when he presents the compressed smog rings, other countries will spring into action and we will head towards cleaner and more sustainable lives!

Cheers to clean air!

 

Research:

Wikipedia: Daan Roosegaarde

Animation: Electronic Vacuum Cleaner

De Zeen Magazine Interview with Roosengaarde

 

Wondergressive: The Ugly Face of Overpopulation

Wondergressive: A Cheaper Alternative to Pollution

Wondergressive: Costly Climate Changes

Wondergressive: Warning: Weather Hazards Ahead

A Cheaper Alternative To Pollution

The world is getting crowded, or so we think, and with it there is the looming threat of traffic, angry people, excessive food waste, and of course pollution.

Pollution is very unhealthy, unpleasant, and unprofitable. The pollution we are causing from our transportation and daily lifestyles is in essence costing us a pretty penny. In the midst of all the spending on pollution, we have critics that argue for a new, pollution-less world. But wouldn’t that just be a costly upgrade and exuberant amount of money spent on something that will likely cost exorbitant amounts to maintain? According to a new study, not really. In fact, the constant use of coal as a power source yields a great deal of carbon based pollution, which turns out to be costly in itself.

Related Article: The Ugly Face of Overpopulation

Many would argue that with the cheap labor costs and manufacturing costs that accompany it, there really isn’t a cheaper alternative to “coal power.” However, based on this study, coal power is in fact not only an outdated method, but it is at least more costly than onshore wind power and the use of new natural gases. Laurie Johnson, an avid advocate and proprietor of the study, gets to the nitty-gritty point:

The study results show that our electricity system, which generates fully 40 percent of the nation’s carbon dioxide pollution, is costly. Transitioning to cleaner energy won’t just help protect us and our children and grandchildren from climate change, it’s also good economics

More importantly she discusses not only the cost of production, but also the cost of damage caused by the pollution. It is no secret that global warming is causing more severe storms and climate changes, and it is also no secret that we pay a pretty penny for the destruction of our tyrant mother nature.

Related ArticleCostly Climate Changes

The study estimates that by 2018, coal will be so costly that it will cost at least .5 cents per kWh more than renewable clean energy. Although that sounds like a very little number, take into consideration that the average American uses over 11,000 kWh per year. Now multiply that by the roughly 300 million Americans in the USA and again multiply it by the .5 cents that coal costs to operate/clean/maintain. That’s-a-big a-pizza pie! The study itself concludes that:

Our estimates have important policy implications. For new electricity generation, they justify a much stronger standard than proposed last year by the Environmental Protection Agency, which was based upon natural gas emission rates. For existing source standards, which the EPA is also required to issue, they justify replacing a significant portion of the current coal fleet with new cleaner generation.

Related Article: Germany Sets Example for Global Climate Battle

Maybe it is time to give up the farce of maintaining fossil power plants and time to step up into a world of clean and renewable sources of energy. We continually progress to higher gas mileages and less pollution based cars, so why not apply this idea of clean usable energy more as a solution to our constant need for energy?

Cheers to clean energy!

 

 

Research:

Social Cost of Carbon

Laurie Johnson

 EIA.Gov American Electricity

Wondergressive: The Ugly Face of Overpopulation

Wondergressive: Costly Climate Changes

Wondergressive: Germany Sets Example for Global Climate Battle

Permaculture Connection

 

This site connects people interested in sustainable farming, permaculture, organic lifestyles, clean energy methods and more from all around the globe.  It is a forum with invaluable information abound!

There’s a name for these wonderful people by the way; Permies.

Check out the site, become a permie and as Gandhi said:

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”