Smog into Jewelry!
The air we breath is becoming less and less breathable. According to the American Lung Association, about 4 in 10 US citizens live in countries that have unhealthy levels of particle pollution or ozone. A recent study done by researchers at UC Berkeley, states that smog kills about 4,000 people every day in China.
To help to combat this growing problem, a Dutch designer, Daan Roosegaarde, has created a giant portable air purifier designed to be used in public parks. The 23-foot tall device called the Smog Free Tower that runs on 1,400 watts of green energy and can clean more than 30,000 cubic meters of air per hour.
“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,” says Roosegaarde.
Not only does the tower clean the air, it also turns smog into jewelry! Roosegaarde realized that air pollution is largely CO2, which is made up of tiny little particles of carbon–and if you put a lot of carbon under enough pressure, it will turn into diamonds. It would require too much energy to turn the smog into diamonds, but Roosegaarde had other plans.
The fine carbon particles that the tower collects are condensed to create tiny “gem stones”. Each of the tiny stones is the equivalent of 1,000 cubic meters of air. The little black bundles, framed by stainless steel, were promised to anyone who donated €50 or more on the Kickstarter campaign that made this project possible. Rings or cufflinks are going to anyone who donated €250 or more.
Roosegaarde switched the machine on for the first time in Rotterdam on September 4 and plans to eventually roll out other models in Beijing, Mexico City, Paris and Los Angeles.