In Video: Tianjin’s Smog Free Tower

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.