A giant outdoor air-cleaning vacuum cleaner was unveiled in Amsterdam yesterday. Its inventors at the Envinity Group claim the air purification system is the first of its kind and may soon help filter toxic particles from the atmosphere.
The 26-foot-long steel vacuum cleaner has enough suction to intake air from a 300-meter radius and up to over four miles above the machine, according to studies conducted by the Energy Research Center of the Netherlands, with the capacity to filter 100 percent of fine particles and 95 percent of ultra-fine particles from nearly 800,000 cubic meters of air per hour.
“A large column of air will pass through the filter and come out clear,” Envinity spokesperson Henk Boersen told the Agence France Presse (AFP).
Particle pollution is a big part of big city life. Fine particles of dust, dirt, and smoke from burning fuels fill the air we breathe, irritate our eyes, get into our lungs, and cause health problems. Ultra-fine particles from vehicle emissions have even more damaging effects. Envinity is already in talks with governments, businesses, and airports to install its vacuum cleaner to filter these particles from problem areas, according to Boersen.
Related: Beijing’s silver-plated ‘Smog Free Tower’ turns pollution into carbon cubes
Just last month, another Dutch-designed air purifier was powered on in Beijing, China, one of the world’s most polluted cities. The 23-foot-tall Smog Free Tower was billed as the “the largest electronic vacuum cleaner in the world” by its designer, Dan Roosegaarde.
While Envinity Group is intended both as an environmental and commercial product, the tower was primarily an art installation intended to raise awareness about air pollution. It is said to filter roughly 30,000 cubic feet of air per hour and remove about 75 percent of harmful particles.
For every 1,000 cubic meters of air filtered through the tower, Roosegaarde and his team will create a carbon cube, which will serve as a reward for the project’s Kickstarter campaign participants.