World's Largest Purifier

Air pollution is a major concern all around the world today, with leading metropolises blanketed with thick smog most of the year. Of particular note is Beijing, which last year exceeded its national health standard by 1.3 times.

That thick Beijing smog has inspired a designer to take action to the next level. Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde has created the world's biggest air purifier, and he's taking it on a tour of China, starting with Beijing.

He has created a 23-foot (7 m) tower that takes in dirty air and releases air with the tiny dust particles removed. Oh, and by the way, it takes that dust and turns it into jewels. The whole process is part of Roosegaarde's Smog Free Project.

The tower, dubbed the Smog Free Tower, consists of 45 silver plates housing a huge internal air purifier. That purifier works by releasing positive ions into the air, which latch on to dust particles, particularly PM2.5 and PM10. Negative ions then attract the positive ions back into purifier, bringing the particulates along with them. It then traps the dust, and releases the air back outside, now 75% cleaner.

Spurring conversation

The Dutch artist is now touring China, tower in tow. Partnering with  China's Ministry of Environmental Protection, the next leg of the tour will be based on the results of an online poll. He plans for at least 800 units in cities across China.

Unlike other proposed solutions to the air problem, Roosegaarde admits that his invention is not the magic bullet that will make everything go away. He just wants his inventions to start the conversation rolling. "I hope that the designs I make will be part of a mentality change," he told CNN.

According to the WHO, "98% of cities in low and middle income countries with more than 100,000 inhabitants do not meet WHO air quality guidelines." This kind of change is vital to our survival.

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