• A woman wears a mask as haze from smog caused by air pollution hangs over the Forbidden City, Beijing (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
You might soon be able to buy jewellery made out of smog filtered from the air in Beijing.
Bianca Soldani

8 Aug 2016 - 11:03 AM  UPDATED 8 Aug 2016 - 11:08 AM

There’s nothing pretty about a polluted skyline, but one Dutch innovator sees plenty of potential in it.

Daan Roosegaarde could be China’s answer to cleaner air after he created a “smog free tower” that he plans to install in Beijing next month.

His design stands at seven metres high and purifies the air around it by collecting pollutants via patented ion technology.

According to the project’s website, each tower can clean 30,000 cubic metres of air per hour – or the equivalent of 12 Olympic swimming pools. The towers, which are basically a giant version of an air purifying device, run on green wind energy and consume about the same amount of power as a household boiler.

The smog particles that it sucks in are processed within the structure and condensed into small, 8.4 by 8.4 millimetre cubes which, as Roosegaarde has shown, can be made into something altogether more spectacular.

Roosegaarde originally funded the project via a Kickstarter campaign that raised close to AU$165,000, and as a thank you for their generosity, donors received a ring mounted with a tiny version of the smog cube.

While not as striking as a gem, according to Roosegaarde, each cube is 42 per cent carbon - the same element diamonds are made of.

The idea for the smog free tower came about after Roosegaarde visited Beijing a number of years ago. Inspired to make a difference there, the architect and designer invented his air purification system and tested it in Rotterdam.

After discussions China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, the first tower is now due to be installed in a Beijing park next month before eventually being placed in four Chinese cities.

Roosegaarde now hopes to make more rings out of the collected smog particles when his Beijing tower is in operation and he told MailOnline, “In one day in Rotterdam we managed to make around 30 rings but in Beijing because the smog is worse, we'll be able to make around 300 or 350.”

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