Daan Roosegaarde is Cleaning the Air by Cycling


Door Bart Brouwers
Leestijd ± 3 minuten
  • 26 May 2017

After successfully cleaning the air with his “Smog Free Tower”, Daan Roosegaarde is planning to extend the project with Smog Free Bicycles. Eindhoven University of Technology has recently found evidence that Daan Roosegaarde’s Smog-Free Tower is really cleaning the air. Professor Bert Blocken conducted the research and concluded that the Tower, which was first set up in Rotterdam and is now active in Tianjin (China), is really helping to remove polluted particles from the air. Roosegaarde is well known in the Brainport Eindhoven region because of his Vincent van Gogh Cycling Path.

The Smog Free Project, supported by the Chinese central government, consists of the largest outdoor vacuum cleaner in the world. It changes the pollution into “smog free jewelry”, made from its captured smog. A series of permanent installations inspired by Roosegaarde’s Smog Free Tower will be realized by the Chinese partner Film Method Works across Chinese cities.

"Smog Free Bicycles provide a healthy and energy friendly solution for urbanites, combatting both traffic congestion and pollution issues in the city"
Daan Roosegaarde —

Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde and his team of designers and engineers now present a new addition to Smog Free Project: the Smog Free Bicycle. The concept draws its inspiration from the recent Smog Free workshop at M Woods in Beijing which featured artist Matt Hope and Prof. Yang from Tsinghua University and led to new creative output. The innovative bicycle inhales polluted air, cleans it, and releases clean air around the cyclist. According to Roosegaarde, the bicycles will work in similar ways as the Smog Free Tower “and provide a healthy and energy friendly solution for urbanites, combatting both traffic congestion and pollution issues in the city. It is currently in the first stage and is intended to become a medium for smog-free cities, generating clean air by pedaling, creating impact on the larger urban scale.”

Its concept aligns with a growing attention in bike sharing programs in China such as Mobike, which is recording more than a million sharable bikes in the Beijing region, says Roosegaarde. “Beijing used to be an iconic bicycle city. We want to bring back the bicycle as a cultural icon of China and as the next step towards smog-free cities.”

From Bert Blocken’s findings:

“The Smog Free Tower works with the proven ENS technology of positive ionization to remove large fractions of particulate matter from the air in its immediate surroundings. Both the technology and the Smog Free Tower itself have been successfully evaluated with both field measurements and numerical simulations with Computational Fluid Dynamics. The results confirm that the tower captures and removes up to 70% of the ingested PM10 and up to 50% of the ingested PM2.5. For a tower in an open field in calm weather, this provides PM10 reductions up to 45% and PM2.5 reductions up to 25% in a circle with a diameter of more than 20 m around the tower. When the tower is applied in semi-enclosed or enclosed courtyards, the beneficial effects can be much larger.”

Smog Free Bicycle along with Smog Free Tower and Smog Free Jewellery are part of the larger Smog Free Project. More concepts will be added along the journey towards smog-free cities, Roosegaarde says. “Together with long-term projects of the central government, the Smog Free Project wants to create impact now.”