Massive air purifier sucks up smog and turns it into jewels

Clean air? Seems like a thing of the past.

These days, more and more people are living with poor air quality and intense smog. Air pollution — called a “silent killer” by the World Health Organization — can cause lung disease, heart disease, cancer and can affect the nervous system. According to the WHO, 92 percent of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds its guideline limits.

But Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde may have a solution. Using a Kickstarter campaign, Roosegaarde created a tower that he calls the world’s first “smog vacuum cleaner.” The 23-foot tall air purifier sucks up smog and releases filtered air through it’s vents. Not only does Roosegaarde claim it can clean more than 30,000 cubic meters of air per hour, but it also allegedly uses no more electricity than a regular old water boiler.

Studio Roosegaaarde

Roosegaarde’s design studio was able to show the first model of the Smog Free Tower in September 2015 at a public park in Rotterdam, Netherlands. In 2016, Studio Roosegaarde worked with the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection to take the massive air purifier to four different Chinese cities in an effort to clean China’s notoriously polluted air.

Roosegaarde created the machine to be used in public parks both to alleviate pollution and to serve as a striking piece of art.

roosegaarde photo
Flickr | Studio Roosegaarde

Jewels From Pollution?

Interestingly, the Smog Free Tower also creates jewelry. According to Roosegaarde’s Kickstarter page, “in areas affected by severe air pollution, the Smog Free Tower will harvest enough smog to produce over 3,500 Smog Free Cubes per day.”

The carbon particles collected by the tower are condensed to create cubes or “gems” for rings and cufflinks. It takes 1,000 cubic meters of air to create one stone. You can snag a piece of smog jewelry by donating to the campaign’s  Kickstarter page.

Roosegaarde isn’t the only inventor creating goods from polluted air particles, either. A company based in India recently started selling black ink made from car exhaust called Air-Ink.

Graviky Labs

Most recently, Roosegaarde’s tower was installed in Krakow, Poland from Feb. 16 to April 15. Roosegaarde has said he now plans to take the Smog Free Tower to Mexico City, Paris and Los Angeles.