China tests giant air cleaner to combat smog

Mar 6, 2018

By David Cyranoski

A 60-metre-high chimney stands among a sea of high-rise buildings in one of China’s most polluted cities. But instead of adding to Xian’s smog, this chimney is helping to clear the air. The outdoor air-purifying system, powered by the Sun, filters out noxious particles and billows clean air into the skies. Chinese scientists who designed the prototype say that the system could significantly cut pollution in urban areas in China and elsewhere.

The technology has excited and intrigued researchers — especially in China, where air pollution is a daily challenge. Early results, which are yet to be published, are promising, says the project’s leader Cao Junji, a chemist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Key Laboratory of Aerosol Chemistry and Physics in Xian in central China.

“This is certainly a very interesting idea,” says Donald Wuebbles, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who has heard about the system but not seen it in action. “I am not aware of anyone else doing a project like this one.”

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3 comments on “China tests giant air cleaner to combat smog

  • @OP – A 60-metre-high chimney stands among a sea of high-rise buildings in one of China’s most polluted cities. But instead of adding to Xian’s smog, this chimney is helping to clear the air. The outdoor air-purifying system, powered by the Sun, filters out noxious particles and billows clean air into the skies.

    Also! Other news: –
    People who don’t use locks on stable doors and paddocks, chase horses around the prairie, and even manage to catch a few of them! 🙂



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  • But, Alan4,
    This is the “plan” of the polluters. They are banking on the idea that someone, somewhere will invent a process/machine that fixes what they’ve destroyed. While it is good news (if it works), it is also very very troubling if viewed as an ominous portent to what this “allows” going forward.

    So, screw the ocean and it’s creatures….. dump as much whatever as you’d like. __________ (fill in the blank) has invented a machine that can ‘scrub” the water. Screw all that “breathing” and “fresh air”…. pour pollutants out — spew them far and wide…. ________ has invented an air scrubber.

    While i am happy for the short term cleaning of the air in areas where air quality is awful, I shudder at what this unleashes.



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  • Crooked.

    China will lead the…er…charge in EV manufacture and take up.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/china-holds-the-keys-to-the-electric-car-revolution-2017-12?IR=T

    They are being responsible to their citizens and would love the problem entirely solved by EV and fuel efficiency as its cheaper than creating the problem and cleaning it up afterwards.

    Its India you have to watch. They are decades behind with much higher forward costs through undeveloped infrastructure. The drive to EV and general fuel efficiency may be not as forceful as it needs to be.



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