A Dutch artist is turning smog into jewelry using the world’s largest portable air purifier.
Daan Roosegaarde first got the idea for the device while visiting smog-filled Beijing. Inspiration struck when he realized that air pollution is largely CO2, which is made up of tiny little particles of carbon–and if you put a lot of carbon under enough pressure, it turns into diamonds.
He envisioned a “Smog Free Tower” that would operate using the same air purifying technology hospitals do. His large, portable tower would clean the air while simultaneously leaving behind tiny black carbon particles that could be recycled into jewelry.
After collecting $127,000 to build it through a Kickstarter fundraising page that offered rings and cufflinks as rewards for donations, Roosegaarde switched the machine on for the first time in Rotterdam on September 4.
As onlookers breathed in bubbles of the fresh, clean air wafting into the town square, the Smog Free Tower was cranking out the bits of carbon that would be compressed into tiny cubes.
Each of those cubes, less than one half-inch squared, is the equivalent of 1,000 cubic meters of air cleansed of smog by the white machine. The little black bundles, framed by stainless steel, were promised to anyone who donated €50 or more. Rings or cufflinks are going to anyone who donated €250 or more.
Roosegaarde wants to take the tower to some of the most polluted cities in the world, including Paris, Mumbai, and Beijing.
(WATCH the Studio Roosegaarde video below)
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