The Smog Free Project: Making diamonds out of polluted air

Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde, winner of INDEX: Award 2013 with Smart Highway, is back with a wild project: a “vacuum cleaner” machine that sucks polluted air and turns it into diamonds.

Last year, Daan surprised us with his Smart Highway project and went on to win in our INDEX: Award 2013 COMMUNITY category. Now, Roosegaarde and his team of experts are wowing us again by developing a safe, energy friendly installation to capture smog and create clean air. It is called The Smog Free Project and uses patented ion technology to create large holes of clean air.

“It’s a similar principle to if you have a statically charged balloon that attracts your hair. If you apply that to smog, to create fields of static electricity of ions, which literally attract or magnetize the smog so it drops down so you can clean it, like an electronic vacuum cleaner” says Roosegaarde.

“By creating a field of ions, all the particles on the nano scale get positively charged, therefore when the ground is negatively charged, you can drag them to the ground, and purify the air – 75 percent, 80 percent more clean. The great thing about the technology is that is safe. It’s already being used in hospitals and it’s very energy-friendly, so to have 30,000 cubic metres of clean air purified, it only uses like 30 Watts, which is like a light bulb” he continues.

“The great thing about the technology is that is safe”

Roosegaarde will continue 2014 scaling his machine up, in order to make the largest air-purifier in the world to create the cleanest, smog free, park in Beijing. Here people can breath, and experience clean air for free.

As a tangible souvenir of this Smart City, Roosegaarde also wants to create jewellery of the collected smog particles. When smog dust is compressed it creates diamonds. These can be used to create locally produced high-end rings. Each ring supports the cleaning of 1km3 of polluted air.

Roosegaarde says that this kind of projects are a means to attract attention to the pollution problem, rather than trying to solve it. The real answers should try to avoid polluting in the first place.

In the video below, you can hear Daan himself describing the project. The catch, however, is that you need to understand Dutch…

You can read more about the SMOG project in Studio Roosegaarde’s website. 

Credits: Euronews, Dezeen Magazine, Wired, Studio Roosegaarde

Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookGoogle+Pin on PinterestShare on Reddit