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.

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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.

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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

 

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Wondergressive: A Cheaper Alternative to Pollution

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Fresh Air Turned into Gasoline

www.themalaysianinsider.com gasoline
http://www.themalaysianinsider.com

Scientists have created a new technology that has allowed them to create gasoline out of thin air. The method also removes carbon dioxide from the air in the process.

By taking carbon dioxide from air and hydrogen from water, the scientists have successfully created a clean form of gasoline that can be used to its full potential even while using current infrastructure.

The companies chief executive, Peter Harrison, has stated that:

It looks and smells like petrol but it’s a much cleaner and clearer product than petrol derived from fossil oil. We don’t have any of the additives and nasty bits found in conventional petrol, and yet our fuel can be used in existing engines. It means that people could go on to a garage forecourt and put our product into their car without having to install batteries or adapt the vehicle for fuel cells or having hydrogen tanks fitted. It means that the existing infrastructure for transport can be used.”

The company, Air Fuel Synthesis in Stockton-on-Tees, is responsible for the breakthrough.  They are currently seeking additional funding to make the process more efficient and ready for commercialization.

The executives of the company realize something that is becoming more pressing with each day that passes; fossil fuels are a dead end market.  No matter how long it takes, it is a limited resource, and becoming drastically more limited even as you read this.  The countries that are seeking and implementing energy independence will be the true super powers within the coming decades and centuries.

 

 

 

Sources:

The Independent- Exclusive: Pioneering scientists turn fresh air into petrol in massive boost in fight against energy crisis

Air Fuel Synthesis in Stockton-on-Tees

 

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