The Dutch are tackling air pollution with another giant vacuum device

Last year, Derek and Lloyd both wrote about Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde's Smog Free Project where he installed giant air purifying towers in parks in Rotterdam and Beijing to provide clean air in public spaces and as an art project where the compressed filtered smog material collected from the machines was made into jewelry and other items that you could buy.

It was a compelling project because it was dealing with the issue of smog and air pollution while also making the issue highly visible.

Now, a team of Dutch inventors has unveiled a giant air-cleaning vacuum that they say filters out fine particle pollution from the surrounding air, but this project isn't about art, it's purely about functionality.

"It's a large industrial filter about eight meters long, made of steel... placed basically on top of buildings and it works like a big vacuum cleaner," Henk Boersen of the Envinity Group, the makers of the device, told the AFP.

The device can suck in air from a 300-meter radius and from up to four miles above and can clean 800,000 cubic meters of air an hour. It filters out 100 percent of fine particles and 95 percent of ultra-fine particles, based on prototype tests carried out by the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands.

Fine particle pollution, created by the burning of fossil fuels and industrial processes, can cause serious respiratory health problems like asthma and even cancer and 90 percent of European residents are exposed to levels above those recommended by the World Health Organization, according to the European Environment Agency.

Envinity Group unveiled the technology at this year's Offshore Energy trade show in Amsterdam, saying that a large column of air can be sucked through the filter and come out clear. The company says that a variety of airports, governments and businesses have already expressed interest in the device.

Tags: Air Pollution | Technology

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