As China’s large cities still struggle with air pollution, scientists develop technological solutions that may offer relief. In Xian in Shaanxi province, an experimental 100 metre tower that is dubbed ‘the world’s biggest air purifier’, is offering promising results.
The Xian smog tower project was launched in 2015. The tower produces more than 10 million cubic metres of clean air a day. Researchers at the Institute of Earth Environment at the Chinese Academy of Sciences claim that the invention has brought a noticeable improvement in air quality over an area of 10 square kilometres in the city. The leader of the project has stated that on severely polluted days the tower was able to reduce smog close to moderate levels.
According to a South China Morning Post report, the system works through greenhouses covering about half the size of a soccer field around the base of the tower. Polluted air is sucked into the glasshouses and heated up by solar energy. The hot air then rises through the tower and passes through multiple layers of cleaning filters.
The experimental facility in Xian is a scaled-down version of the much bigger smog towers that are to be built in China’s large cities. A full-sized tower is 500 metres high with a diameter of 200 metres.
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