Schoolgirl's "Smog Hog" Cuts Air Pollution


Photo credit: joushbousel

Amy Clucas, a 14-year-old (14!) schoolgirl from Christchurch, New Zealand, is the lead inventor of a device that knocks out air pollution.

Her "Smog Hog" uses water to trap pollutants from a fire as they gust up a chimney, preventing them from entering the environment. (Okay, as one astute reader pointed out, it's basically a giant bong.)

Smoke from fireplaces is one of the two largest contributors to New Zealand's air-pollution problem, according to The New Zealand Herald, referring to a recent report that said air pollution was claiming nearly 1,100 lives a year across the country.Clucas' came up with her "Smog Hog" device last year with schoolfriend Anna Pratt. "I've always been interested in science and I really wanted to reduce smog because of the health effects and the environmental effects," Clucas tells The Herald. (Can you sense Pratt shooting daggers at Clucas or is it just us projecting?)

Just one small drawback: Water that was sprayed to capture harmful pollutants in the chimney resulted in the buildup of a poisonous black liquid. After a series of experiments this year, the wunderkind discovered that the leftover liquid could be successfully recycled into briquettes that could be reused as a fuel. "And it can all be done domestically as well," she said.

While Clucas's concept would require some tweaking before it becomes a practical reality, says Bryan Jenkins, chief executive of Environment Canterbury, Clucas has devised a possible solution to combating air pollution. "It's very good thinking," he said.

Thanks, Amy, for using your brainpower for good, and for making us feel old ... and stupid. ::The New Zealand Herald

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