ENVIS Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Monday, January 20, 2020

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4 unique ways of fighting air pollution

In London, one of the most polluted cities in the world, 1 in 12 deaths are linked to dirty air. Air pollution in Delhi shortens the life expectancy of its residents by 6.3 years. According to the WHO, 3 million people die of pollution every year even as only 1 in 10 individuals globally lives in a city that complies with WHO's air quality guidelines. As the problem cries out for urgent remedy, a BBC report listed some innovative solutions.
Smog-free towers
Seven-metre high structure built by Dutch inventor Daan Roosegaard with support from China's environment ministry opened in a Beijing park last September. It's a giant outdoor air purifier.
How it works:
  • The way static electricity makes loose hairs stick to a comb, airborne particles are sucked into the tower where they get a positive charge.
  • The particles are captured by a negatively charged dust-removal plate and clean air blown out of the other end.
  • It captures more than 75% of particulate matter in an area the size of a football field. Runs on 1,400 Watts, that is, less electricity than a desk-top air purifier. Waste collected can be used as building material and to make smog-free jewellery.
Biochar
Also a Dring project, it involves the creation of building material out of a charcoal-like substance obtained by burning agricultural crop by-products or tree clippings in a pyrolysis kiln (in a process that induces decomposition through high temperatures).
How it works:
  • Simply put, you take carbon out of the sky, convert it into a material, and then use it to build.
  • Trees too take carbon out of the air and trap it as wood.
  • Biochar is a mouldable, plastic type material that you can shape - which you can't really do with wood making it the perfect material for architectural design.
  • Dring's new building material, called Made of Air, will make its first appearance as industrial factory cladding in Berlin this year.
Pigeons
They took to the sky from a north London hill last March wearing backpacks that monitored air pollution.
How it works:
  • They sent live air-quality updates via tweets to Londoners' smartphones. Sadly, in most cases, the readings were not good.
Source: The Times of India
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/