Futurism’s “Smog-Sucking Tower” article written by Jelor Gallego tells the story of Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde and his 23-foot (7m) air purifying tower. Set to embark on a world tour starting in Beijing, China, Roosegaarde’s Smog Free Project uses the latest in air purifying technology. Just so happens the technology is housed in his Smog Free Tower that stands about two-plus stories high and consists of 45 silver plates.
The world’s largest purifier works by releasing positive ions into the air, which latch onto dust particles (particular PM 2.5 and PM 10). After the negative ions lure positive ions back into the purifier, it traps the dust, and then releases the good particles back outside 75% cleaner. According to Roosegaarde, “the tower can clean 30,000 cubic meters of air each hour.” This is equivalent to a small neighborhood each day.
The same technology is now being used in the groundbreaking Molekule Air Purifier device. Granted, a bit smaller and its application intended for indoor environments, Molekule is able to kill microscopic pollutants like mold, gaseous chemicals, bacteria, and viruses with its patented filter. The Molekule completely replaces the air in a 600 square foot room (large living room) two times an hour. It does this with its photo electrochemical oxidation (PECO) patented technology. Like Roosegaarde’s Smog Free Tower, Molekule’s filter works at a molecular level to eliminate air pollution. According to co-founder and Chief Scientist Dr. Yogi Goswami, “we use innovative technology that uses free radicals – the same radicals used to kill cancer cells – to oxidize pollutants.” The end result: PECO is able to destroy pollutants 1,000 times smaller than traditional HEPA filters (0.1 nanometers v. 300 nanometers).
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 98% of large cities in low to middle income countries exceeded healthy air guidelines (compared to 56% of cities in high-income countries), Roosegaarde’s Smog Free Towers will be put to the test. If you’re thinking staying indoors keeps you safe from pollutants, think again. The EPA estimates that our indoor air is 5x’s more polluted than our outdoor air. With close to 90% of our time indoors, the Molecule Air Purifier device has a very similar uphill battle. It seems like the duo-pronged attack of Smog Free Tower outside and the Molekule Air Purifier indoors may be the right combo plate. They both seem to have the right approach when it comes to harmful air molecules: kill them versus harbor them.
Written by Sophie Morlin-Yron, CNNTech’s article entitled, “World’s Largest Air Purifier Takes on China’s Smog,” discusses the inspiration behind the Smog Free Project. “I hope that the designs I make will be apart of a mentality change,” Roosegaarde said. “In a weird but beautiful way, I became inspired by the Beijing smog.” According to WHO, Beijing exceeded its national health standard by 1.3 times last year. The first stop on the clean air tour is a critical one. By partnering with China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Smog Free Project moves from Beijing to another city in need of clean air. This one will be determined by an online poll. The plan: 800 Smog Free Towers in cities across China.
Whether its killing harmful pollutants in Beijing or destroying microscopic mold particles in your basement, the new air purifying technology is groundbreaking. It can be used in a 23-foot tower to clean the air in a small neighborhood or replace the air in a 600 square foot living room. There is no telling whether or not Roosegaarde’s Smog Free Project will have a lasting impact in China; one thing is certain: it has certainly brought widespread awareness to a global epidemic that needs our immediate attention.