The largest air purifier ever built was unveiled last month, and it is transforming harmful dust particles into elegant gemstones.
Daan Roosegaarde, artist and engineer, became frustrated with the amount of pollution floating around the planet so he created an enormous 23-foot air purifier that is sitting on a patch of grass next to his studio in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Roosegaarde said:
“It’s really weird that we accept [pollution] as something normal, and take it for granted.”
The Smog Free Tower is powered by 1,400 watts of sustainable energy, which is about the energy it takes to power a water boiler. Roosegaarde explained how the purifier works on its crowdfunding page:
“By charging the Smog Free Tower with a small positive current, an electrode will send positive ions into the air. These ions will attach themselves to fine dust particles. A negatively charged surface -the counter electrode- will then draw the positive ions in, together with the fine dust particles. The fine dust that would normally harm us, is collected together with the ions and stored inside of the tower. This technology manages to capture ultra-fine smog particles which regular filter systems fail to do.”
The prototype has been in development for three years and was supported by the mayor and local government with grant money. However, in order to get the towering purifier to Beijing — it’s intended destination — Roosegaarde launched a Kickstarter campaign where people can endorse the project and in return, receive jewelry and cufflinks made out of the smog gems.
Roosegaarde said that each stone amounts to 1,000 cubic meters of air, so buying a ring, essentially, means “you donate a thousand cubic meters of clean air to the city where the Smog Free Tower is.”
So far the project has just about doubled its pledged goal, raising $91,451 from 1,083 backers. With four days left to go, the Dutch designer now has his sights set on figuring out how to get the 23-foot tower to cities like Mumbai and Paris before reaching Beijing where air pollution is a serious problem.