With rising modernity, air pollution is quickly taking its toll on the city environment. In fact, according to scientists, in developing countries like India and China, the air is unfit to breathe in many cities. People are tackling this problem by staying indoors and by using the best indoor air purifications techniques, which they can find. However, that’s not a solution. People can’t stay indoors throughout the year, they have to find a solution. While natural outdoor air purification system (or trees) take too much time to grow, we can try artificial ones to make things better.
Outdoor air purification systems
As we know it:
Fresh air is synonymous with good health and vitality. But the unfortunate fact is that there is hardly any fresh air around for us to breathe in. What the lungs generally take in nowadays is air impregnate with acidic pollutants and noxious gases. The main sources of air pollution in big cities is combustion of fuels in automobiles and industrial pollution. This rise in the level of pollutants in air has made several industrial designers come up with concept systems that help make the air breathable. The future seems bright with systems that run clean and promise pure air for us to breathe.
Need for a Change
Air pollution is a worldwide problem. Today there is hardly any country in the world that is not infested with motor vehicles. These along with industrial wastes have contributed immensely to the unbreathable air. With each passing day there are more vehicles on the road. What then is the solution to this ever increasing problem than to install outdoor air purifiers? Some of these purification systems do seem quite effective and give us hope for a better future.
1. Solar-powered city air purifier for polluted cities of the future
Industrial designer Ken Jasinski’s Symbiosis City Air Purifier is an easy to use product. It can very easily be fitted on to streetlamps and generates power for operating its ultraviolet air purification system using solar panels. The system is environmentally friendly in every way and offers a viable solution to the ever increasing problem of air pollution.
What difference will it make:
The Symbiosis City Air Purifier is designed to trap carbon dioxide from the air. It then processes the air and releases fresh oxygen back into the atmosphere. The power utilized in the process is minimal and the fact that attached solar panels provide green energy for the process makes the system even more effective. The purifier though has many advantages; it also has a major drawback. On rainy days since there is no sun, the system runs energy supplied by the grid.
The system demands installation on poles and streelamps, which might sound effective in a small area. However, a large scale installation of the system will prove to be highly expensive.
2. W/Air breathing necklace filters CO2 for energy
While most outdoor air purifiers seem an expensive proposition, a team of designers is proposing an entirely different approach. The team is proposing a gadget that can make use of carbon dioxide to generate electricity, while saving your lungs from toxic gases.
What Difference will it make:
Industrial designers Martina Pagura and Pedro Nakazato Andrade have developed the W/Air. The gadget can be worn as a necklace when one moves outdoors. Its main function is to filter carbon dioxide from the air and release fresh oxygen. The system is unique as it also stores the captured Co2 for reuse as electricity.
The main issue with the W/Air is that since its not one of the smallest gadgets around, it might not be as user-friendly as it looks to be.
3. An Oxygen Tank-Equipped Bubble Dress Makes Air Pollution Irrelevant
A New York University scholar, Hana Marie Newman has created a bubble dress with a built-in air purification system. One simply has to wear it as an accessory and forget about harmful air pollutants all around.
What difference will it make:
The bubble dress, christened “8,” is fitted with an oxygen tank that pumps in purified air. Moreover, the system doesn’t require any electricity to run and hence guarantees fresh air all day.
The bubble dress or 8 can never really become a long term solution to the ever increasing air pollution problem. Not many people would be willing to wear a bulky outfit like this each day. We need a more viable and technology advanced solution for a serious problem such as combating air pollution.
4. Carbon-Scrubbing Artificial Trees for Boston City Streets
Nature’s way is the best way. Trees naturally filter and clean our air. However, nowadays people are uprooting more and more trees for materials such as wood. To solve the problem, researchers are proposing artificial trees that can do the same job. Product designers Mario Caceres and Cristian Canonico have come up with the innovative TREEPOD’s. This air purification system works as an entry for the SHIFTboston urban intervention contest. These artificial trees function on the concept of biomimicry that uses the carbon filtration qualities of trees. The technique that these air purification trees use is humidity swing. They are just like urban furniture and can be set up anywhere.
What difference will it make:
The TREEPODS are made of recyclable plastic and have a very unique design. The entire structure resembles a tree with branches that will have several points fitted with carbon dioxide filters. These trees can very easily be set amidst real trees. Designers Caceres and Canonico believe that these trees will serve as sources of sustainable energy. People can actually sit and relax under these structures and enjoy some fresh air.
The TREEPODS make use of next-gen technology, which is quite expensive. The trees can definitely make the air more breathable, but the cost at which the process will be accomplished will be too much for most places in the world.
4. Octopus-Like Migrating Floating Gardens are Not Aliens
Architects at Rael San Fratello have designed a complicated air purification system. The migrating floating gardens concept is certainly new and way different from other purification systems. The devices are green octopus-like objects which hang on vines from a remote airship. These devices float overhead and will clean up the environment. One can even program them to move from one region to another.
What difference will it make:
These devices are designed to float over areas where the heat island effect is the most. Each device is fitted with sensors that are programmed to note real time data related to the weather, traffic, pollution, and noise levels. The device will also be fitted with “individual propelled devices”, which can detach from the mother ship and move independently. GPS and GIS are used to program the flocking patterns of these devices. They can float over spaces and purify air with complete ease.
Implementing this air purification system will be complicated as each of these so called plants has a photovoltaic skin for storing solar power. However, the practicality of such a product is debatable.
5. Crazy Spike Covered Algae Powered Skyscraper Filters Polluted City Air
Czech architects Pavlína Doležalová and Jan Smékal have conceptualized the ‘City Respiration Skyscraper’. It is basically a 240-meter high tower with air purifying algae on it like a cover. These towers can be set up in the areas with high levels of pollution. Moreover, the outer surface of these towers will have spike-like concrete structures as cover.
What difference will it make:
The main tower functions as a huge chimney. It captures polluted air, filters it and then oxygenates by using algae and a special water-spray system. Algae will naturally consume CO2 and release oxygen during the process. Moreover, the algae can further be of use. It could be of immense help in producing biofuel.
The only major drawback of this air purification system is that the cost of building, developing and maintaining it would be very high.
Some future indoor purification systems
While the conditions on the open streets are miserable, the conditions indoors aren’t great either. Addressing the issue, designers all over the world are creating futuristic air purification systems that can help make air quality better. The outdoor purification systems mentioned above might look dystopian, but it isn’t the case with the indoor purifications system. They are not just possible; we are destined to see many of the following purification systems in the near future. Let’s have a look at them:
1. Aura Organic Air Filter
Designed by Ben McGinley, the Aura Organic Air Filtration system keeps indoor air quality healthy and doesn’t consume any electricity for the same. The conceptual device uses sunlight and plants to remove harmful chemicals and toxins from the air. Plants are naturally equipped to filter chemicals like volatile organic compounds, formaldehydes, benzene and carbon monoxide from the air. The device uses this property to clean indoor air and make it free from any toxins.
The FLO2 by industrial designer Olivia Bradateanu uses the natural processes of photosynthesis to purify indoor air. The product lets users know the quality of air they are breathing and purifies it by simply trapping the harmful particles. The portable device can be carried along or placed at a favorable place inside a house.
3. O2 Air Purifier
Designed by Tian Lingrui the O2 Air Purifier requires the user to place a normal plant pot on the system’s tray, where it accelerates the process of photosynthesis and hence increases the amount of sequestered CO2 for more oxygen. In addition to cleaning up the air around, the system also keeps tabs on our green friends and lets the user know when they need water.
4. Oxygen of Green
The Oxygen of Green indoor furniture concept is designed by combining air plants with a living room table. Conceptualized by industrial designer Mingling Wang, the system produces a decent amount of oxygen, especially after dark and does that at the place where it’s most needed – the center section of the house.
5. The Daan
The Daan is a small disk-sized unit powerful enough to purify a small room. You stack more units together to clean a bigger area. You can even detach one unit and take it for travel. Designed by Joseph Kim, this wonderfully crafted new air purifier will hopefully alter the view of traditional water purifiers and will encourage more makers to go for the more stylish designs which will go great with interiors of your space.
6. Green Ring
The Green Ring is the brainchild of designers Park Jun Seok and Kwon Hye Rim and has been designed to keep tabs on the air you breathe and help purify it as well. Shaped like a tree trunk, the device can easily be mounted on the wall and comes with a variety of LED lights and filters. The device features a set of lights that glow from green to red according to the air quality inside your house.
The Extend air purifier by industrial designer Sander Brouwer is a sleek and stylish air purifier that offers a simple solution that leads us from polluted city life to pure and fresh air to enable a healthy lifestyle. It helps improves air circulation and purification to keep you always in fine spirits.
8. GreenAir Planter
Drawing inspiration from the metamorphosis of a butterfly, designer Sherly Gunawan, a graduate in Product Design from LASALLE College of the Arts Singapore, has designed an innovative air purifier that freshens up the environment through natural vegetation. Considering the fact that that indoor air can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air, the GreenAir is an indoor air purifier that grows living plants for fresh air.