Daan Roosegaarde's smog eating tower opens in Rotterdam

open ing of tower
© Daan Roosegaarde

Derek previously covered Daan Roosegaarde's Smog Free Project, in his post titled World's largest air purifier aims to create 'Smog Free Parks' in cities around the world. I think of it as a giant electrostatic precipitator like people used to have attached to their furnaces; Derek calls it a large ionizer, while Daan's press release explains:

Roosegaarde and his team of experts have used patented ion technology to build the world's largest smog vacuum cleaner. The Smog Free Tower produces smog-free bubbles of public space, allowing people to breathe and experience clean air for free. The first 7 meter high Smog Free Tower cleans 30.000m3 of air per hour of ultra-fine smog, uses no more electricity than a water boiler, and runs on green energy.

tower in operation© Studio Roosegaarde

Daan is an artist and provocateur as well as an inventor, so a project like this is going to do a lot more than just clear the air. It has to make a statement, and make the invisible (or at least only partially visible, like smog) visible.

We humans have created machines to enhance ourselves, we invented the wheel and cars to liberate ourselves and travel. But now these machines are striking back, making air ex-tremely polluted in high-density cities. In some cities, this pollution is visible. In others, air pollutants and smog may be invisible, but the impact on our daily lives and health is very real. In the Netherlands we live 9 months shorter because of smog. Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde believes we should do more, not less, and make modern cities liveable again.

Smog tower at night© Daan Roosegaarde

Daan and his team have now officially opened the first in Rotterdam, not exactly the dirtiest city in the world, but it is a start, and it is soon off to Beijing and Mumbai where it will certainly get a workout. I interviewed Daan when I was in Copenhagen for the Index Awards, where he was a juror; here is the portion of the interview that discusses the Smog Free Project.

Smog Tower from Lloyd Alter on Vimeo.

At the time of this writing you can still invest in the Kickstarter that is funding the Smog Free project; For €50 you can have your own little compressed cube of smog. Cufflinks and rings cost more.

smog cubes© Daan Roosegaarde

The Smog Free Cube is the most tangible symbol of the Smog Free Movement. It is a cube of 8,4 by 8,4 millimeters filled with compressed smog particles. The Cube contains smog filtered from 1000m3 of air. Carry your cube with you as a personal reminder of your efforts to create a world free of smog!

smog free tower © Daan Roosegaarde

Tags: Netherlands | Pollution

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