India gets its first smog tower installed in Delhi
India took steps this Monday towards purifying its polluted air by unveiling its first smog tower at its capital city Delhi.
The highrise is built in Delhi’s Connaught Place, one of the world’s most polluted cities. It was unveiled by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and is a milestone for India’s endeavour in climate control.
What does the smog tower constitute?
The highrise is 24 meters high, almost as tall as an eight-storey building. It constitutes a lower 18-meter concrete tower and a canopy 6 meters in height mounted on top of it. The tower base has ten fans installed on each side.
That is, it has 40 fans in total. Inside, the tower has two layers comprising 5000 filters. Both the fans and the filters are imported from the US.
The smog tower is a new technology that uses a “downdraft air cooling system” developed by experts in Minnesota.
The upper part of the tower takes in the polluted air and releases purified air from below through the help of the fans installed.
Each fan can discharge 25 cubic meters of air per second, resulting in a discharge of 1000 cubic meters of purified air per second.
Northern China used similar technology to design a 100-meter high smog tower in Xian. Reports said that the Chinese experimental building was a success and the air quality improved distinguishably.
Delhi Pollution Control Committee’s senior environmental engineer Anwar Ali Khan is in charge of this project.
He said that they replicated the university’s technology in IIT Bombay with the university’s collaboration. Tata Projects Limited’s commercial wing then applied this to create this tower.
The smog tower sucks in air at 24 meters of height, and the fans at the bottom when in operation, create negative pressure that sucks the air in from the top.
While travelling from top to bottom, the air first passes the filter’s “macro” layer, which holds particles of 10 microns and is more extensive.
Then it passes through the “micro” coating, which filters small particles of about 0.3 microns.
The purified air is then propelled out from the bottom of the tower at the height of around 10 meters from the ground.
The tower is an experimental project as the technology it uses is still new. Theoretically, the building should affect the air quality surrounding it up to a distance of 1km from it.
Speaking about the tower, Mr Kejriwal said, “Experts will analyze the operation of the smoke tower and tell us if it works. If successful, most of those smog towers can be installed throughout Delhi. If not, we will work on other technologies. I think it will be a milestone for India.”
IIT Delhi and IIT Bombay will evaluate the actual effect of the tower on the air for two years. This will also determine how the building operates under different weather conditions and how PM2.5 levels vary with airflow.
The automatic Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system in the tower will monitor air quality. The stories of PM2.5 and PM10, excluding temperature and humidity, will also be regularly measured.
“Monitors will soon be deployed at various distances from the tower to determine their impact on these distances,” officials said. The project aims to provide clean air in a “localized” environment.