In an attempt to fight air pollution, China has constructed an experimental air purifying tower, touted to be the world’s biggest at a height of over 100 meters (328 feet). According to a report in the South China Morning Post, the tower, built in Xian in Shaanxi province, has brought a positive effect on the chronic smog problem in the country.
The Xian smog tower is undergoing testing by researchers at the Institute of Earth Environment at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Cao Junji, the research head said that the tower has managed to produce more than 10 million cubic metres (353 million cubic feet) of clean air a day since its launch, the report said. He also noted that the quality of air had improved after observations were made over a distance of 10 square kilometers in the past few months.
More than a dozen pollution monitoring stations have been placed in Xian to check the tower’s impact. According to Cao, the tower was able to bring down the smog to moderate levels the day when air quality was severe. However, the results were preliminary as of now. The team plans to release more detailed data coupled with scientific assessment of the tower’s performance in March.
Launched in 2015, the Xian smog tower was announced to find a low-cost method to artificially remove pollutants from the atmosphere. The polluted air is sucked into the glasshouses of the tower and is then heated up by the solar energy. The hot air then moves through multiple cleaning filters and helps in reducing the pollution.
A full-sized tower would reach 500 metres (1,640 feet) high with a diameter of 200 metres (656 feet), according to a patent application the makers filed in 2014. The size of the greenhouses could cover nearly 30 square kilometres and will be capable of purifying the air for a small-sized city.