Situated in the northern city Xian, a 328-foot-tall tower has noticeably improved air quality within an area of 10 square kilometres.
Given the current state of the planet, and the pressing need to reduce air pollution, it is unsurprising that we have seen developments in innovative ways to purify our air. For example, this Peruvian billboard delivers clean air to the environment, helping to tackle the high levels of pollution in Lima. Another such innovation is the Rotterdam-based giant vacuum cleaner which not only creates clean air, but also sucks in pollution and turns it into jewelry. This new tower in China, claiming to be the world’s largest air purifier according to its operators, is another example of a technological solution to clean air pollution in cities.
The tower is currently undergoing testing by researchers at the Institute of Earth Environment at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The project’s lead researcher, Cao Junji, has found that the tower has already succeeded in improving the air quality within 10 square kilometres of its position in the city. The tower is over 100 meters tall and works by sucking in polluted air. It then filters this through a network of greenhouses surrounding the base of the tower. The polluted air is heated up by solar energy as it passes through the greenhouses. The heated air rises up through the tower and flows through multiple cleaning filters, until it is ready to be released as clean, purified air.
Despite the lack of sun during the winter months, the tower still functions thanks to the coatings on the greenhouses. This means that the glass can absorb solar energy much more efficiently. The project is hoped to lead to the construction of much bigger towers in future which could help purify the air in other cities.
It seems of paramount importance that air pollution is reduced as soon as possible. How else could cities be made safer and healthier places to live? What other technological innovations could facilitate cleaning the planet’s air?