BILLED as “the world’s first smog-free tower”, a building in Rotterdam’s City Port area has been equipped with the giant electromagnetic “vacuum cleaner” technology conceived by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde.
The system uses copper coils to generate an electromagnetic field, which attracts particulate matter and smog particles, allowing them to be collected. In smoggy areas – parts of the Netherlands have recorded spikes in the levels of PM 2.5 particulate matter in recent years – the system can be visually impressive, with smog areas separating cleanly to produce a “parting of the Red Sea” style effect.
Roosegaarde also creates jewellery made from the collected smog particles. Being filled with carbon, the dust can be compressed into “high-end jewellery”, an example of which is the “Smog-Free Ring”. Each Smog Free Ring supports the cleaning of 1000m3 polluted air. Smog Free Cufflinks are also available.
Roosegarde’s firm Studio Roosegaarde opened its office in the M4H area of Rotterdam in May 2014. M4H is one of the inner harbours in the city itself, and an attempt is underway to transform it into a national and international site of innovative business in the field of clean tech, medical and food. Roosegaarde said: “The future is about being a maker, not a consumer. Rotterdam is the place where this happens. And we are happy to have our ‘dream factory’ here, where we design the landscapes of tomorrow.”
The Smog-Free Tower is a temporary installation, and part of an initiative called the Smog-Free Project, which will tour the technology to other cities after Rotterdam, including places like Beijing.