Smog into gemstones?

The Smog-Free Tower project turns carbon dioxide into gemstones

Daan Roosegaarde - File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 09/10/2017 12:00 Monterrey, Nuevo Léon Actualizada 12:00
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Daan Roosegaarde, a Dutch artist and designer, famous for combining technology with art, will build a tower in Mexico City capable of cleaning “smog” – air pollution – of its surroundings and turn the resulting carbon dioxide into gemstones.

The Smog-Free Tower project is similar to the seven-meter tower already build in Beijing, China, explained the Arts graduate and master in Architecture by The Berlage Institute in Rotterdam, Netherlands, during a conference at the University of Monterrey (UDEM).

Daan Roosegaarde met with students from the Arts, Architecture & Design Department (DAAD) of the Universality last Friday, to whom he presented some of his most innovative projects, where he combines technology, art, and natural areas.

The gems create by the Smog-Free Tower are sold approximately in 250 Euros, and the money from the sales are invested in the same project.

During the conference he gave to students and professors at the UDEM, he showed them images of a couple in India who bought an engagement ring, made from carbon dioxide.

The tower Roosegaarde built in China in 2016 cleans one thousand cubic meters of air, which makes the area around the tower 20 to 70 percent cleaner than the rest of the city, according to the designer.

Transforming a pollutant contaminant into high-valued jewels is possible through a process called ionization; the architectonic structure gathers the carbon particles from the air and then compresses them at high-pressure for half an hour to obtain the gemstones, explained Roosegaarde.

“It's a way to understand luxury and a proposal linked to a cleaner world,” he said during the conference, adding he is always seeking to experiment with several materials to achieve “clean air, water, and energy,” through utilitarian art and seeking to improve the quality of life of humanity.


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