World's largest air purifier aims to create 'Smog Free Parks' in cities around the world

Smog Free Tower
© Studio Roosegaarde

The Smog Free Tower is said to be able to remove carbon particles from the air, which can then be compressed and turned into jewelry. Fancy a smog ring, anyone?

Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde's Smog Free Project is taking another step toward addressing air pollution in cities, by crowdfunding what he calls "the world's largest air-purifier" that will be installed initially in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and then travel from city to city, demonstrating a possible solution to fighting air pollution.

The Smog Free Tower that Roosegaarde and team are planning to build for the pilot project (described as "the world's largest smog vacuum cleaner") appears to be a very large air ioniser, some 7 meters high, which is touted to be able to clean 30,000 cubic meters of air per hour, with power consumption "as low as 1700 watts."

"By charging the Smog Free Tower with a small positive current, an electrode will send positive ions into the air. These ions will attach themselves to fine dust particles. A negatively charged surface -the counter electrode- will then draw the positive ions in, together with the fine dust particles. The fine dust that would normally harm us, is collected together with the ions and stored inside of the tower. This technology manages to capture ultra-fine smog particles which regular filter systems fail to do." - Smog Free Tower

The basic idea behind the project is to create smog-free bubbles, or "clean air zones," in public spaces, where people can gather in an environment with air that is up to 75% cleaner than surrounding areas. These bubbles may then serve as gathering places for further discussion about solutions for creating more smog-free areas in and around cities.

In order to make the smog problem more tangible, the team behind the Smog Free Tower is planning to turn the smog particles collected by the tower's operation into jewelry, with each cube containing the compressed collected carbon from 1000m3 of air. These smog jewelry pieces could serve as conversation starters about the need for action on air pollution and public health, as well as a visible reminder of the dangers of our modern industrialized lifestyle.

"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 extremely 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. We believe we should do more, not less, and make modern cities livable again."

The project's Kickstarter campaign has already surpassed its fundraising goal of $54,152, and still has 28 days left to run, so there's plenty of time to reserve your very own Smog Free ring or cufflink, if that's your thing.

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