Sunday, September 13, 2015

Forecast #2: Smog Vacuum

A) Articles

Press Release

Dezeen (2013, the original idea)

Daily Mail
Tech Insider

B) Analysis

Artist and inventor Daan Roosegaarde is known for his work in creating a "glow-in-the-dark" sidewalk among many others. Each project is spawned from every-day experiences and inspiration. 

During a visit to Beijing in 2013, Daan noticed that on a good day he could see the buildings out side of his hotel window, and on a bad day there would be a noticeable cloud of dark smog. 

His first iteration of this concept started as using the idea of an underground vacuum of sort and would suck the smog to the ground and decompose it. Using copper coils underneath grass, an electromagnetic charge gentle enough to not disturb pacemakers and other devices would pull the negatively charged smog to the ground with a visible transition. 

The newest prototype has adapted new technologies that are more transferrable. Thanks to double the donations of Kickstarter, his project has been released this past week and is located in Rotterdam.  

Working as a glorified air purifier, the Smog-Free Tower uses ion technology with three vacuums inside. This creates a "clean air bubble". Moreover, this tower is able to be transported to others cities with high air pollution. 

Daan has gone a step further and has adapted an interesting business model to sustain this project. When ionizing CO2 you are left with carbon. 

This carbon is then compressed into cubes that represent 1000 square meters of clean air. He has solidified these within clear acrylic and set them in rings and cufflinks.

C) Bullet Answers:

1. Global/ National/ Local/ Personal Impacts:

Using one Smog Free Tower, 3500 Smog Free Cubes are able to be produced. 

One cube = 1000 cubic meters (one city block x on city block)

3,500,000 city blocks are able to be cleaned, which is translated in to 219 miles. 

If we consider the distance of smog in relation to Earth, that would be able to clean one city block and 219 miles above it. 

Sure, those who have trouble breathing in high levels of smog are able to enjoy the outdoors without face masks and is a decent amount of clean air, yet it is not significant enough to make a big impact on a national or even global scale. 

Rather than producing one tower that is transported to other polluted cities, why not make one for each city? This would reduce the carbon foot-print that would entail them to travel and the opportunity to continue the clean air process. 

2.) Impact Over Time:

Amount of space of one tower to clean air:

1 Year: 79,935 miles - roughly the size of Minnesota, not including airspace
            -NYC = ~305 square miles, within one year, give or take, to be cleaned. 

3.) Positive Outcome:

To have all architecture implement this system so that the buildings producing much of the air pollution will be held responsible for cleaning up their mess. This is turn would allow them to do what they will with the leftover carbon, such as make plastics or even diamonds!

4.) Negative Outcome: 

If this technology were to be implemented into buildings and they would have the freedom to do what they will with the leftover carbon, the downside would be if they decided to produce man-made petrocarbons that have gotten us into this dilemma in the first place. They would essentially be self-sustaining polluting machines.

5.) Lens: 

Sustainability/Super Tech


Is this a step forward in solving the air pollution crisis?

Do you think that this tower has feasible power to clean entire cities of smog?

What would you do with the leftover carbon?

1 comment:

  1. I think its a good idea and definitely a step in a positive direction but it seams like an invented technology to cover up the problem of smog. Instead of cleaning up the smog why not work to eliminate it?


Just keeping things on the up and up since this is for my students to communicate first.