Re-cycling polluted air
Cycling prevents enormous amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, as bicycles generate about 10 times fewer greenhouse gases than individual motorized transport. But what if we could do even better, and ride smog-cleaning bicycles that suck up polluted air?
Apart from their eco-friendliness, bicycles also benefit our health. Even a short ride around the block can burn calories and increase muscle tone. But what if riding a bicycle could do even more, like remove pollutants from the air? This seemingly impossible idea will soon be a real option for cyclists everywhere.
Sucking in the smothering smog
For Dutch innovator Daan Roosegaarde, it all started with the depressing and smog-filled view over the city of Beijing, when he realized he had to do something to fight air pollution. Since then, he has been a man “on a mission for clean air”. His “Smog Free Project” is pursuing a number of options in the fight to reduce air pollution.
In 2015, Daan introduced the Smog Free Tower that he and his team call “the world's first smog vacuum cleaner”. The 7-meter tall tower uses patented positive ionisation technology to produce smog-free air in public spaces. It can clean 30,000 m3 of polluted air per hour and uses just a small amount of green electricity. The first tower went online in Beijing, and the Chinese government reported that it had in fact reduced pollution by 55 percent in the surrounding area. It would take a dense network of towers to make a real dent in the smog hanging over the huge metropolis though. Daan also came up with an idea for processing the particles filtered out of the air by the tower, turning them into jewellery like the smog-free ring.
The smog free bike
The ‘Smog Free Bicycle’ is based on a similar technology and employs a positive-ionization filter mounted on the handle bars. Air flows through the filter when the bicycle is in motion, removes particles from the polluted air, and literally gives the cyclist a breath of fresh air.
The design of the first Smog Free Bicycle prototype was inspired by the manta ray, a fish that filters water for food. It was launched in June 2017 at the World Economic Forum in Dalian, China, in partnership with ‘ofo’, China’s leading bike-sharing programme, and ‘Tezign’, a Shanghai-based design platform. Soon though it will not only be cleaning the air in China’s urban giants, as European cities like London, Paris, and Luxembourg are also interested in introducing the bike as a part of their bike-sharing programs.
“True beauty is not a Louis Vuitton bag or a Ferrari, but clean air and clean energy.” Daan Roosegarde