Smog – the bane of (over)crowded cities, is a problem that should be addressed by any nation afflicted with it. There are always downsides to it, including rising medical costs that might also put additional burden on the government machinery in the long run. In China alone, smog is a fast growing problem that is not going to go away anytime soon. In fact, if our memories serve us just fine, the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics saw most industry in the city shut down so that the smog levels will remain in check. Is there hope for cities down the road? A Dutch designer answers in the affirmative, claiming that he has already come up with a system which is able to pluck smog particles out of the air – literally.
Daan Roosgaarde claims that Tesla coils which are buried just under the surface of the earth might be used to create an electrostatic field. This electrostatic field would then attract smog particles, in a somewhat similar manner as that of an electronic vacuum cleaner. Having worked alongside scientists at the University of Delft in The Netherlands, Roosegaarde claims that early experiments were successful, as they managed to clear a one cubic meter area of smog in a five cubic meter room. In fact, Roosegaarde has already reached a deal with the mayor of Beijing so that it can install a system in a city park in order to showcase the technology, and from there, hopefully convince the masses that their city needs something like this. We wonder what are the energy requirements needed to make sure that enough of these are installed to clear an entire city of smog, and whether there are any more cost effective ways.