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China's 328-foot air purification tower is helping fight the country's smog problem

By midian182 ยท 14 replies
Jan 16, 2018
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  1. The quality of the air in China’s urban areas is notoriously poor. And while the country did cut air pollution levels by 4.5 percent last year, this marked the smallest decline since 2013. To help combat the problem, a 328-foot air purification tower, supposedly the biggest in the world, has been built in Xian, in the Shaanxi province of northern China.

    As much of Xian’s heating relies on coal, the city experiences heavy pollution during the winter months. But one of the scientists working on the tower said it has already resulted in a noticeable improvement in the air quality over an area of 10 square kilometers (3.86 miles), according to the South China Morning Post.

    Scientists at the Institute of Earth Environment at the Chinese Academy of Sciences continue to test the tower. The head of research, Cao Junji, said it had produced over 353 million cubic feet of clean air every day since it launched a few months ago.

    The system uses the greenhouses around the base of the construction; these suck up the polluted air, which is then heated by solar energy. The hot air rises through the tower and passes through multiple cleaning filters on its way up, before the final, clean result is pumped out the top.

    “The tower has no peer in terms of size […] the results are quite encouraging,” said Cao.

    The last large smog tower in China ran on electricity powered by coal-fired plants, which defeated its purpose slightly, but the one in Xian requires little power to run. “It barely requires any power input throughout daylight hours. The idea has worked very well in the test run,” added Cao.

    As large as it is, the tower will be dwarfed by those that Cao and his team aim to build in other Chinese cities. According to a patent they filed in 2014, the full-sized versions will reach 1640 feet into the air, have a 656 diameter, and the greenhouses will cover an area of 11.6 miles.

    Image credit: South China Morning Post

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,586   +3,054

    Sadly, if they took the money spent on this tower and put it towards up-to-date scrubbers on those coal fired plants they could increase the air improvements by a factor of 10x. This was demonstrated by similar projects in Chicago, Detroit, and NYC back in the early 80's. Treating air pollution, or any pollution, always is most effective at the source ... just common sense.
  3. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,667   +1,919

    well their smoke problem has a lot more to do than with just coal although that is a major factor. Cars and factories also play a major roll in this and then you have to deal with the smog that's already there. Anyway, I've read that some of these air purifies can lower CO2 levels and that's something we don't have a great way of dealing with, coal scrubbers or not
  4. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,636   +1,105

    What happened with the Algae cleaning systems we read about a while ago?
    TempleOrion likes this.
  5. Kotters

    Kotters TS Maniac Posts: 330   +223

    Wasn't this tower debunked a while ago, anyway?
  6. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 706   +348

    So, like the Shroud tower in Mass Effect 3 ?
    Reehahs likes this.
  7. cuerdc

    cuerdc TS Booster Posts: 169   +40

    A scaled down version for on top of streetlamps would be impressive if worked.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  8. Fulltone

    Fulltone TS Rookie

    What an ingenious idea. As those sprout up, can imagine the cleaner air there.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  9. NotParker

    NotParker TS Enthusiast Posts: 28   +10

    Most of the coal air pollution is coal burned at home (or in central boilers) or in a business/factory. Coal is subsidized in northern China.

    Reehahs likes this.
  10. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 493   +337

    If this isn't fake (and not the beginnings of a water tower), it is purifying air while still being under construction?
  11. centrino207

    centrino207 TS Booster Posts: 160   +10

    You mean most of the pollution coming from homes and factories than cars and coal power stations.
  12. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,586   +3,054

    Well, the factories and power station are the big offenders with automobiles a close 3rd. If it's like Beijing it is compounded by the city sitting in a sort of "bowl" so the air pollution cannot blow out. The last time I was there the pollution was so bad we had to wear an actual respirator, those little white masks only were good for filtering the larger particulate matter which is the least of your problems.
    Reehahs and TempleOrion like this.
  13. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,667   +1,919

    No, industry as a whole, not just power plants. Coal heated homes are just part of the problem. Look at pictures of China in the summer months when they aren't heating their homes. Thing is there are many different types of pollution not related to coal that cause smog. Mostly manufacturing of plastics and chemical processing.
    Reehahs likes this.
  14. Joe Blow

    Joe Blow TS Addict Posts: 244   +77

    This should help America too. Why is that? Much of the air pollution in America, at least on the west coast, originates from China.
  15. NahNood

    NahNood TS Booster Posts: 101   +31

    Which unfortunately is non-existent with stubborn communist rule, so there ya go. ha

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