Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde has developed an “electronic vacuum cleaner” that could potentially suck up urban smog. The new cleaner uses copper coils to create an electrostatic field that pulls smog particles from the air. Roosegaarde is already in talks with the mayor of Beijing, who could employ the innovative solution to address the city’s air pollution issues.
Roosegaarde’s smog vacuum cleaner purifies the air surrounding the system, giving people nearby fresh, clean air to breathe. The system is made up of buried coils of copper that are installed in a large area. Smog particles within the perimeter of the coils are drawn toward the ground, creating a clearing of fresh air 165-190 feet in diameter. These polluted particles are then collected and disposed of.
The project was inspired by Beijing’s severe air pollution, which Roosegaarde experienced first hand during a recent trip to the city. After observing fluctuations of smog layers that covered the city from day to day, he decided to develop a design solution that would improve quality of life for local residents.
Over the next 18 months, Roosegaarde will further develop the technology for Beijing and eventually install the copper coil vacuum under grass in a clean, park-like setting. Although the vacuums won’t eliminate the source of air pollution, they can bring temporary relief and protect citizens from a slew of pollution-related health problems.