Designer Daan Roosegaarde believes his innovation—which he dubs "the world’s largest smog vacuum cleaner”—can change the air quality in polluted areas forever. Called The Smog Free Tower, the device stands 23 feet high and is wind-powered. Using a patented ion technology—it emits positive ions that attach to smog particles, then draws the particles back in with negative ions—the machine can filter 1.06 million cubic feet of air every hour, creating a "bubble" free of contaminants for anyone within close proximity of the machine. (It's unclear how big this bubble is exactly.) 

But that's not all the machine does. Once inside the tower, the particles (which include carbon) are compressed into solid fragments that are later encased in resin to make smog jewelry, like cufflinks and rings. The trinkets were used as a Kickstarter incentive for the project’s fundraising earlier this year.

Smog Free Project

Roosegaarde has cautioned that the device is not a cure-all for areas with serious air quality problems, but can offer a small area of refuge for cities burdened by excessive pollution. After a trial run in Rotterdam, the tower will go to Beijing and other areas in China beginning in September. In the near future, Roosegaarde hopes to bring the technology to other locations, including Mexico City and Los Angeles.

[h/t IFL Science]

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