China builds word's biggest air purifier - and plans 500m-high successor

China builds world's tallest air purifier- higher than Qutub Minar Statue of Liberty

It has brought a noticeable improvement in air quality, according to the scientists leading the project – and it is only the first of several such towers planned around the country. Despite producing 353 million cubic feet of clean air a day since its launch, it seems the reduction at this point is a little underwhelming when you think of the manufacturing and maintenance costs a facility like this would have.

Cao also told South China Morning Post in an interview that on the worst pollution-filled days, the tower could reduce smog to almost moderate levels.

Cao also explained that their tower barely requires any power input throughout daylight hours.

The air freshener works by using solar energy to pump dirty air through cleaning mechanisms and is so effective that it can work in cold weather.

Cao's team set up more than a dozen pollution monitoring stations in the area to test the tower's impact.

China, meanwhile, has been able to curb pollution levels in Beijing where concentrations of PM2.5 - tiny particles in smog that could pose the greatest health risks - dropped 54 percent from a year earlier in the fourth quarter of 2017. "The idea has worked very well in the test run", he said. It was entirely powered by electricity, most of which is generated by coal-fired power plants in China. The air purifier should help mitigate China's high levels of smog and ultimately improve overall air quality for those living in the city of Xian.

According to a report by South China Morning Post on Monday, smog levels in the northern province of Shaanxi went way above hazardous levels despite an announcement made by the Ministry of Environmental Protection last week, claiming it had made meaningful progress in reducing smog levels in the region. It's very tall, very eye-catching, but it's also very quiet. "I have no doubt about that", a student from Shaanxi Normal University, located a few hundred meters from the tower, told SCMP. "I can't hear any wind going in or out", she said.

Cao and his team are now planning a 500m tall and 200m wide tower, with greenhouses covering 30 sq km, that would be able to purify air for a small city.

The Xian tower is reportedly supposed to be a scaled-down version of much larger smog towers, which the Chinese scientists hope to build in other cities across the nation in the future.



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