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These Bicycles Eat Smog and Spit Out Clean Air

The Smog Free Project was inspired by air pollution problems in Beijing.

by Lisa Cumming
20 May 2017, 11:00pm

Bike sharing programs in China are big right now. There are over 30 Chinese start-ups and one of the largest of them all, Ofo, has about 2.2 million bikes in 43 cities. Daan Roosegaarde, an inventor from the Netherlands and the designer behind China's smog-sucking tower, wants to get in on the action with a bike that sucks up smog and releases clean air.

About three years ago his design and technology company, Studio Roosegaarde, launched the Smog Free Project, which started after he visited Beijing and saw the impacts of pollution. "Some days I couldn't see the other side of the street," he told me over the phone.

"The project is about the dream of clean air, clean water and clean energy," he said.

After the launch of the tower, Roosegaarde is planning on scaling down the same principle so it can work with bikes. He uses a positive ionization process to capture impossibly small dust particles that make up smog. Essentially what that does is attract positively charged particles in the smog to a negatively charged surface inside the tower, he said.

"In the process, the smog particles are compressed and they clutter together so they can't disconnect, and once they've connected on a negatively charged surface they're not fine dust anymore [because they've clumped together to form a larger mass], and every month or two you clean the surface," he said.

Read the full story on Motherboard.