How the seven metre tall Smog Free Tower improves air quality in China


The Five Great Avenues public square - Tianjin
The Five Great Avenues public square in Tianjin, the present location of Daan Roosegaarde’s Smog Free Tower. Image by Beibaoke (via Shutterstock).


It looks like a cross between a modern vase and four heated towel rails, but Daan Roosegaarde’s Smog Free Tower is more than a decorative piece.  In the city of Tianjin, it rids a given area of noxious airborne pollutants within a 20 metre radius.


The Smog Free Tower is seven metres tall and situated in the city’s Five Great Avenues, a popular public square and meeting place.  It has in China the same sort of iconic status as the Eiffel Tower has in Paris.  Roosegaarde’s tower aims to become the latest Chinese icon.


It captures 70% of PM10 (particulate matter of 10 microns), resulting in a maximum 45% reduction in PM10, within 20 metres of the tower.  With PM2.5 particles, as much as a 25% reduction around its radius.


In Video


Before moving to its present position, the Smog Free Tower was tested in Beijing, one of the world’s most polluted cities.  Courtesy of Mashable’s YouTube channel, here’s the structure in operation.


After being tested in China’s capital city, a single tower was akin to trying to turn a tidal wave over with a teaspoon.  Roosegaarde stated there needed to be one every 20 metres to provide lasting benefits.  Perhaps in our urban areas, they could be a new architectural feature of our office blocks and industrial estates.


As to what happens to the particulates, they are recycled to make jewellery.  Yes, with the Smog Free Tower, it is possible to turn muck into brass.  They could appear on our shopping channels as well as our favourite online retailers.

Why two Singapore cafeteria chains have introduced tray returning and floor cleaning robots

Robots image by Alejandro Linares Garcia (Creative Commons License: Attribution-ShareAlike)
“We are the robots…:” Already happening in Singapore, robots are being used to help to clean floors and form part of a lean coffee shop chain with very few human staff. Image by Alejandro Linares Garcia (Creative Commons License: Attribution-ShareAlike)

In the last 60 years, the cafeteria layout has usurped seated service in many cafés. For many, cafeterias mean trays, picking your own sandwiches or cakes, and filling your own teapots. A popular method in many superstore cafés, it allows for higher footfall, speedier service, smaller staffing numbers. In Singapore, two coffee shop chains have gone even further: robots instead of cleaners and waiters.

Continue reading “Next Up: Tray Returning, Floor Cleaning Robots”

Coupled with a Wi-Fi enabled Roomba vacuum cleaner, Amazon’s Alexa could change the way you clean your floor

Alexa Roomba Image
Take one Amazon Alexa powered Echo system, then a Wi-Fi enabled Roomba.  Then sit back and tell your Roomba to do the rest.  Images by Quality Stock Arts and George W. Bailey (via Shutterstock).

Vacuum cleaning can be a physically demanding task.  If you’re not battling with the flex, you’re trying to wrestle with the accessory brush on the stairs.  If you’re lucky, you might have a robotic vacuum cleaner which makes light work of your floor.  This month, a new type of Roomba vacuum cleaner has hit the shops in the USA.  They are Wi-Fi enabled and compatible with Amazon’s Alexa system, on the retail giant’s Echo devices.

Continue reading “Now You Can Let Alexa Clean Your Floor”