1. Diamonds in the sky
Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde has come up with a gem of an idea: air-purifying towers that subject the carbon in smog to such enormous pressure that it is converted into diamonds. The diamond can then be used to fund more towers. Beginning in heavily-polluted Chinese cities, Roosegaarde inaugurated the first tower during Beijing Design Week in 2016. His goal is a future with cities so clean that “these towers are no longer needed”.
2. Unmanned pollution-fighting
What’s that buzzing in the smog-filled air? Why, it’s an unmanned smog fighter! In 2014, Chinese media reported that drones fitted with a paragliding wing and a device to freeze smog particles in the air are to undergo testing. An exciting idea, although less reassuring was the news that particles frozen by the drones would then smash to the ground.
3. Cleansing artificial rain
We all know that the air can feel cleaner after it rains, but did you know that so-called cloud seeding has long been used to produce artificial rain? It’s a method that is now being studied as a way of helping to clean up smog in Delhi. However, there are concerns about the toxicity of silver iodide, the chemical compound used to start the process.