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Lately there have been a bunch of stories coming out of China on just how horrific their air pollution is. Days where the smog is so thick that you can’t see more than a few feet in front of you. This is mostly due to coal and dirty oil emissions, and lax environmental controls.

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It’s something that makes me terrified, and the Chinese government must act. Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde is developing a system that collects the smog like a vacuum cleaner using copper coils buried underground. Below is a very brief explanation on how it works.

Via Dezeen:

The buried copper coils produce a weak electrostatic field that extends into the sky above. Smog particles are drawn down towards the ground, punching a clean hole in the air and allowing the particles to be collected. The coils can be buried beneath the grass of a park and are completely safe.

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Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 1.40.38 PM This is a proof of concept, and Roosegaarde has only done minor trials, but the idea is interesting. Surely the Chinese government should fund and explore this type of solution to smog, while simultaneously enacting strict emissions regulations.

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