Beijing has an air pollution crisis and the bike proposal is the latest in a number of environmental initiatives, such as a Chinese government-led mass tree planting. The bicycle would potentially use a technology to inhale pollution, then release the cleaned air around the rider via a system that replicates the process of photosynthesis of trees. However, as I wrote about earlier this month, bike sharing programs in China are facing significant hurdles.
So, how does the bike work? While pedaling, thanks to the reaction between the electric current, produced by the mechanical action of the pedals, and water, contained in a small tank located under the rear seat, the air passes through the filter in the front of the bike, where it is cleaned before it is delivered to the rider. When the bike is parked, the functions of air purification may continue on battery power.
China, where “smog red alerts” are frequent, has pollution-based smog that has been known to shut down factories, curtail scheduled commercial airline flights, and close highways. The smog problem in China is due to several factors, including run-of-the-mill pollution from traffic and industry. In the past several years, Chinese schools have been closed at an increasing rate, farmers have struggled because sunlight has been so severely blocked by the smog, and all kinds of health problems (from cancer to respiratory issues) have spiked -- all due to pollution. Could the Smog Free Bicycle be a contributing solution to the pollution problem? Many hope so.
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