(GPA) – For most people, one of the first things that comes to mind when they think of some of China’s largest cities is the massive amounts of pollution. This September, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection is partnering with a Dutch engineer to send the world’s largest air purifier on a tour of some of the country’s cities most effected by air pollution.
Daan Roosegaarde came up with the idea after a visit to Beijing in 2014 when he couldn’t see any of the city out of his hotel window, over thirty floors above the ground. After the trip Roosegaarde had the idea for the ion air purifier (similar to the types used in hospitals and homes) to filter some of the smallest, most dangerous particles of pollution out of the air.
The purifier is about 7 meters tall (around 23 feet) and will clean the air in a surrounding area of about 30,000 cubic meters (just unders 106 thousand cubic feet or “the size of a small neighborhood” according to Roosegaarde.) The tower uses 1,400 watts of electricity per hour, which is slightly more than running a dishwasher for the same period of time.
The tower uses the ion technology to capture the particles PM2.5 and PM10, the smallest particles of air pollution which can be the most deadly. The smaller particles are easily absorbed through the lungs and into the bloodstream causing faster and more sever damage than than larger ones.
The giant purifier is not an end all solution to air pollution by any means, especially in countries like China which still relies heavily on coal as a major source of electricity generation.
Roosegaarde doesn’t intend for this to be the solution to any major issues either, instead he created the purifier as a way to “raise awareness” of the dangers of pollution. Currently 80% of people in urban areas live with air that is polluted at dangerous levels by the World Health Organization’s standards and it is estimated air pollution could cost the global economy up to $2.6 trillion a year. The solution of putting air filters all over major urban areas is impractical at best, regardless of this fact multiple governments have asked Roosegaard if he could make purifiers for them. Roosegaard warns that this is not a permanent or large scale solution and just wants people to know the dangers of pollution and believes everyone deserves to be able to breathe clean, healthy air which probably anyone reading this can agree with.