While China’s booming economy has been a spectacle to watch, its corresponding pollution levels have been staggering as well. A side effect of being “the factory of the world” is that the cities in China have been clouded over with toxic particulate matter that is suspended in the atmosphere. Students Yang Siqi, Zhan Beidi, Zhao Renbo and Zhang Tianshuo have come up with an idea to address this problem – a skyscraper that would actually transform air pollution into green energy. This sci-fi building proposal called Project Blue just won an honorable mention in eVolo’s 2014 Skyskcraper Competition.

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Project Blue is designed to transform suspended particulate matter in the atmosphere into green energy. It does this by simulating an enormous upside down cooling tower with a desulfurization system that produces nitrogen and sulfur. When these elements are combined with the atmosphere’s surplus of carbon monoxide the result is water coal that would be transformed into methane. Liquid methane would then be produced from this process through a reaction called low pressure efficient mathanation, which generates methane from a mixture of various gases out of biomass fermentation or a thermo-chemical process. The end product of liquid methane could then be used to fuel green vehicles.

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To help speed up the slow process of distributing liquid methane through underground pipes, the Project Blue skyscraper would actually be able to move and bring its clean energy to whatever area needs it. It would not be a stationary building, but a “drifting aeroboat” that goes along the cities of China cleaning the air and producing green fuel as a byproduct. While Project Blue is an imaginative and enthralling idea, we doubt that it’ll be solving China’s pollution problems any time soon.

Via eVolo