A Tower That Devours Smog: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

What is the latest solution to air pollution, global warming, and smog-covered cities? According to Dutch designer, Daan Roosegaarde, it’s an LED-powered tower that can absorb smog and leave the city a cleaner place.

Roosegaarde is a visionary who has brought the world inspired art pieces such as a glow in the dark bicycle path and an LED Northern Lights show. His artistic visions have certainly helped to make the world a prettier place, but now he’s taking on the much more difficult task of making it a better place with his idea for a smog-eating tower.

1. It’s a Giant Version of a Hospital Air Purifier


Roosegaarde and his studio have now been working for three years to create this air pollution solution that could help to reduce smog all over the world. He gathers his inspiration from the same kind of high-tech air purifiers that hospitals use—but much, much bigger. It currently stands at 23 feet tall and is 11 feet wide.

It’s engineered with positive ions that will attach themselves to the fine smog particles, drawing polluted air into the tower and replacing them with the positive ions. Roosegaarde boasts that this filter will be significantly more effective at trapping air particles than your traditional filter.

2. The Project Is on Kickstarter

The funding for this hefty project comes from a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $54,152. So far, they’ve managed to accrue more than 85 percent of their goal thanks to over 500 backers. Roosegaarde is marketing his project with this slogan: “Let’s build the world’s largest air-purifier!”

3. He Turns the Smog Into Jewelry


As an incentive for those who pledge their financial support to the campaign, Roosegaarde is offering a line of rings, cuff links, and souvenir cubes, each with a tiny square of compressed, filtered smog particles from 1,000 cubic meters of air at the center.

Roosegaarde also hopes that these small jewelry pieces will serve as a poignant reminder of the world’s efforts to reduce smog, and non-financial backers can purchase their own smog cube jewelry for just $54 a piece.

4. It’s Not as Environmentally Friendly as It Could Be


From the many incoming reports surrounding this project, it seems to work quite efficiently at reducing smog within the area. However, there is one major flaw in the plan. Although the purpose of the smog-eating tower is to help the environment, the way the tower functions is anything but eco-friendly. It currently uses 1,700 volts of nonrenewable energy. However, Roosegaarde has pledged to seek solar or wind-powered options to reduce the environmental effects in the future.

5. It’s Not Enough to Eliminate Smog Entirely


Though Roosegaarde’s smog-eating tower has proven to be very effective, he recognizes that it probably won’t be enough to significantly reduce the air pollution problem in most cities. Besides the fact that it’s expensive to build, it only reduces the smog within a certain area, and large cities would need thousands of them to make a dent.

The true responsibility of smog reduction lies with citizens. Roosegaarde hopes that his smog-inspired jewelry will help to remind citizens that by taking just a few precautions, such as carpooling, taking public transit, or investing in a quality air purifier for the home, we can work together to reduce the amount of air pollution in our communities.

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