Dutch innovator Daan Roosegaarde’s latest brainwave, conceived after he witnessed Beijing’s opaque sky, aims to combat the dire problem of air pollution in urban centres. Working with Environmental Nano Solutions Europe, a manufacturer of ionic filters, he plans to roll out a series of parks that will hide arrays of copper coils, which, like air purifiers, use statically charged positive ions to vacuum carbon particles from the atmosphere.
When the pilot project becomes operational later this year, it is expected to create a 40-metre-wide hole of clean air with roughly 75 per cent less pollution. He even has plans for the carbon soot collected: processing a portion of it into artificial diamonds, an alchemical trick almost as impressive as sucking up smog. If the plan succeeds, Beijing just might reach its goal of becoming smog-free by 2017.