Air pollution is a global concern. People living in more than 80% of people living in urban areas are exposed to air quality levels that exceed the World Health Organization (WHO) limits. More so, 98% of low and middle income cities in the world don’t meet WHO guidelines.
This was the inspiration Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde and his team needed to build the Smog Free Tower, the world’s largest air purifier, located in Beijing. The Smog Free Tower is 7 meters high and according to the project’s webpage it can clean 30,000m3 per hour through an ozone-free technology and runs on clean wind energy.
The tower is supposed to capture more than 75% of the PM2.5 and PM10 which are the particulate matter that can easily enter people’s lungs and were recently classified as carcinogens. Instead the tower releases clean air with a 360-degree coverage in its surroundings.
In order to be a waste-free cycle, the collected particles are then treated under high pressure and transformed IGNORE INTO Smog Free Jewelry such as rings and cufflinks. With every jewel bought people donate 1000cm3 of clean air to the city and their sale supports the creation of more towers.
The project first piloted in Rotterdam and was released in Beijing in September 29th. According to All China Tech Reports during its first 50 days of operation the tower showed signs of purifying the air of PM2.5. Nonetheless, the effective range was limited to its immediate surroundings and was unstable.
In spite of this Roosegaarde claims the tower is effective but it isn’t the solution to urban air pollution. He envisions it as an awareness agent which inspires designers, policy makers, NGO’s and leaders to think of more solutions to this problem.
The Smog Free project in Beijing is supported by China’s Ministry of Environment Protection and won the German Design Award for Excellent Product Design. It is part of a larger body of work: “Landscapes of the Future,” which connects people, technology and space to improve the quality of daily life in urban environments.