A 328 feet tall tower in City in northern China is helping the locals breathe cleaner air. This tower is an experimental air purifier. The tower is in Xian, in the Shaanxi province, and is being called the world’s largest air purifiers by its makers — those leading the project have said it has made an evident improvement in the air quality. If you don’t know by now, China has a smog problem. There are actually companies selling bottled air in the country.
The project is being tested by the researchers at the Institute of Earth Environment at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Leading the research is Cao Junji, who has stated that air quality has improved for a ~ 3 square mile area around the tower. This is just with one tower, in the future multiple can be built causing a drastic change in the environment for the people. This tower has been able to produce more than 10 million cubic meters of clean oxygen since being built. This construction is essentially a large concrete chimney that on top of a large open structure with a glass roof. As explained by David Cyranoski on nature.coms article: Solar radiation hits the glass and heats the air, causing it to ascend towards the base of the tower. Then the air passes through a wall of industrial filters before billowing out the chimney. This system was influenced by renewable energy power plants that produce electricity from solar heat.
Most of Xian is powered by coal, and the city experiences heavy pollution during the winter time. Cao and his colleagues have installed more than a dozen pollution observation sites. Though this still just the trial phase, The average decline in PM2.5 decreased by 15%. What does PM2.5 mean? It is referring to solid or liquid “Particulate Matter” with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers.
The South China Morning Post contacted people in Xian to get their thoughts and see if they noticed a change in their environment. One local living .62mi away mentioned that she noticed an air quality improvement that winter. Also, a student studying at the local university also stated there was an improvement. However one local, that works 3.8 miles aways stated there’s been a change and the air is as bad as usual.
This experimental tower is just a small scale version, Cao said that he and his team desire to build larger ones have them all across the country. A Full sized tower could be over 1600 feet and be effective enough to purify the air for a small city.