Over 4,000 people die per day due to China’s rising air pollution. These people mainly come from urban areas such as Beijing and Shanghai.
According to a study, nearly 38 percent of the Chinese population breathes in air that would be acceptable for health reasons in the US.
Many different inventions have been built, however, the Chinese government has now gotten involved to tackle the pollution by building a smog-sucking chimney in the city of Xian. The prototype is currently being tested and led by chemist Cao Junji.
$2 million USD has been invested in the new filtration system that’s hoping to provide a significant solution to the ongoing smog problem in China. The prototype chimney measures almost 200-foot and is made of concrete that sits on an open structure with a glass roof. Solar radiation heats up the air and makes it rise through industrial filters and out the top of the chimney. Cao Junji says that it will cost $30,000 USD per year to keep up and running.
Neil Donahue, a scientist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, wonders whether the benefits will be worth the environmental damage caused by building and running the smog sucking technology. “I would like to see an assessment of the power and resource use for the filtration,” he said to Nature. Turning the same amount of power into clean electricity, or not emitting the pollution in the first place, might achieve the same goal of reducing pollution, he says.