The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a part of the WHO, recently classed air pollution in the same category as tobacco smoke, UV radiation and plutonium. They are all carcinogens that cause cancer. But whereas individuals can stop smoking and avoid sunlight what can they do about pollution?
One solution could lie in the form of advanced air purifiers. While this wouldn’t clean the air up outside, they could at least limit our exposure to the pollutants when indoors. One challenge with air purifiers is that they use power to run, which simply exacerbates the original problem. One other thing to be wary of is that some air purifiers create ozone, which according to the ...view middle of the document...
6 million to anyone who can actually produce a working prototype.
Cleanair system said to cut energy costs by up to 25 percent
According to the University of Copenhagen’s Prof. Matthew Johnson, approximately one-sixth of the energy consumed in the world is used for heating, cooling and dehumidifying air in buildings. Because that air accumulates toxins and pathogens, he explains, it must constantly be expelled and replaced with new air that’s drawn in from outside. That new air must then be heated, cooled and/or dehumidified all over again. If only the air already in buildings could be cleaned up and reused, far less energy would be used on continuously conditioning fresh air. That’s why Johnson has invented the Cleanair system.
“Every second we pump air into our houses that is too hot, too cold or too moist. And then we spend billions of kilowatts treating that air,” he said. “If we could clean the air, we could recycle air that already has the perfect temperature.”
Apparently, that’s what his system does. It involves a patented system called Photochemical Air Purification, which incorporates ultraviolet light and photochemical reactions similar to those that occur in the Earth’s atmosphere. This combination is said to remove particles, viruses, ozone, bacteria, organic solvents and hydrocarbons from indoor air, allowing buildings to reduce their energy use by up to 25 percent.
Within minutes of being turned on, Cleanair reportedly removed 40 different compounds from the air in an office building on the U Copenhagen campus. What percentage of those compounds remained in the air was not stated.
Needless to say, cleaner air not only saves money, but should also pose less of a health risk to the people who breathe it. To that end, Johnson is now looking into how effective his system would be at removing volatile organic compounds from industrial smokestack emissions.
Cleanair was unveiled to the public at last week’s World Climate Solutions conference in Copenhagen.
Machine to clean up greenhouse gas is breakthrough in war on global warming, say scientists
Scientists say they have invented a machine that can suck carbon dioxide out of the air – potentially creating a vital weapon in the war against global warming.
The blueprint for the CO2 'scrubber' raises the prospect of a generation of machines which would help reduce the billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases being pumped into the atmosphere by the use of fossil fuels.
The team of US scientists now plans to build a prototype which would capture one tonne of CO2 from the air every day.
Though the idea is considered a holy grail in the battle against climate change – and Sir Richard Branson has put up £12.6 million for anyone who makes it a reality – the machines would fall far short of a quick fix.
The prototype, being built at a laboratory in Tucson, Arizona, by a company called Global Research Technologies, will cost about £100,000 and take about two years to construct.