Urban cities continue to rise in population with popular destinations such as London and Tokyo being a couple of examples. This can be great in terms of investment in the country but there is a growing concern that it’s contributing massively to air pollution. Governments across the globe are trying to find ways to tackle the issue and one way it can be overcome is through technology. Its development over the years has contributed greatly to particular industries including business, healthcare and manufacturing and now its benefits are being helped tackle pollutants that are destroying the earth’s atmosphere.
What Types Of Technologies Are Helping With Air Pollution?
As mentioned, there have been many examples of technology already in use that are helping with reducing air pollution and its evident that they’re having a great effect in the present and potentially for the future.
– Switching Gases to Liquids
Diesel fuels are a large contributor when it comes to pollutants being added to the earth’s atmosphere. Countries such as the UK have even gone as far to ban diesel and petrol cars from 2040 onwards to make sure that the use of diesel cars are reduced and eventually, banished completely. There has been a slow integration of electric cars which is the new generation of eco-friendly vehicles but a new gas to liquid (GTL) fuel is another alternative for users. Its formed by natural gases and has been developed by Shell. The use of GTL fuel in large vehicles such as trucks and buses, in particular, will be seen as very beneficial in future use.
– Self-Driving Cars
One development that appears to be high on the agenda for car manufacturer brands is the introduction of autonomous cars. By making self-driving cars mainstream in the years to come, it is believed that it can help with lowering the start-stop nature of traffic which is caused by humans and how they drive. This would expect to increase fuel efficiency by up to 40%, improving safety precautions and reducing safety congestion.
– Purifying Air In Urban Areas
Another technology that’s being considered is reducing pollution in urban areas. In the Netherlands, a Dutch design company known as Studio Roosegarde have developed a ‘Smog Free Tower’. This is an air purifying towers which essentially sucks in pollutants in the air and replaces it with clean air into the atmosphere. It is already on trial in Rotterdam and the designers hope to roll it out into other countries and make it a mainstream solution. It’s expected that it will clean up to 3.5 million cubic metres of air each day.
– Photo-catalytic Materials
Another solution for cleaning up emissions is applying photo-catalytic treatments to surfaces such as roofing tiles and roads in the presence of sunlight. According to the Environmental Industries Commission, it’s a cheap way to reduce Nitrous Oxide pollution. Although further tests would be carried out to determine it’s effectiveness, it will effectively help to remove pollutants directly from the ambient air. This could be extremely beneficial for commercial factories that work in manufacturing. Their regular use of ventilation systems and air purifying installations can further reduce the amount of pollution they produce into the atmosphere.
– Use of Liquid Air
There is also the development of technology which is helping to tackle specific air pollutant issues. For example, technology company Dearman is developing a system that helps to overcome the issue of transport refrigeration units through ‘liquid air’. It’s estimated that these units emit around 29 times more emission than modern trucks and the engines themselves that are used to power units are extremely polluting.
Here are just a few examples of how developments in technology are looking to tackle the issue of pollution. The problem lies which technologies are seen as most effective by governments and whether the research budget is enough to push through the support required for commercialising these technologies.