Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Delhi turns on giant air purifier

India has switched on its first public air purifier in the heart of Delhi as part of an experiment that could help other smog-choked cities in emerging countries.

The maker of the seven-ton machine, Italy's Systemlife, claims the box-like structure can purify 10,000 cubic metres of air every hour, scrubbing out pollutants such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide.

(Click here to subscribe to our feed)

The unit, which is plugged in on a traffic-clogged street of central Delhi, is part of a pilot that could lead to more being installed in other areas of the city, ranked the world's fourth most polluted by the World Health Organisation.

"It is the first such project in India and if it works then we would acquire a number of them and place them at strategic locations," the health chief of the New Delhi Municipal Council, P.K. Sharma, said.

He said a state environmental agency will monitor the performance of the machine, which costs about 25 million rupees ($551,000 dollars) and works like a vacuum cleaner, sucking in air and releasing it purified form from a roof vent.

"Money does not matter when health is in question," Mr Sharma said, adding that the purifier would be tested for three months at the site, which is drawing curious onlookers.

Critics of the project say that government of India must focus on reducing pollution at source rather than trying to clean it. Controlling pollution may be a difficult choice involving altering habits (like lesser usage of private vehicles) but is the only viable solution. The air purifying machine is an attempt to replace trees with more expensive solution. It only adds to the pollution as it runs on electricity.

The electricity-driven unit, installed free of cost, uses a five-stage filtering process including electrodes to remove health-threatening solid and gaseous pollutants.

"Almost all Indian cities and especially New Delhi needs them," said Ritika Modi, director of the Indian partner company of Systemlife.

The Italian company has installed similar public purifiers at 26 locations in Spain, six in Switzerland and seven in Italian cities, including in the capital Rome, according to a statement issued by the firm.

Environmentalists said they could only give a thumbs-up to the machine after the tests were over, which will include an examination of the filters by the Italian firm after three weeks of operations.

"We have to examine the variation in air quality, but this can be done only after we analyse the readouts," said Vivek Chattopadhyaya, an air analyst with the Centre for Science and Environment, an environmental research and lobby group.

In November, the city government vowed to enforce a single standard for industrial and residential pollution as part of plans to tighten air quality rules.

Previous rules allowed lower air quality in industrial areas compared with residential areas.

The city government is also mulling the idea of shutting down thousands of industrial units as well as open-air eateries ahead of the Commonwealth Games later this year in a bid to clear up the city smog.

The Commonwealth Games of October 3-14 are set to draw 8,000 athletes and officials to New Delhi as well as 100,000 visitors.


Sarath Guttikunda said...

Mitigation is probably the best solution, if the goal is to reduce air pollution quickly and effectively. What Beijing did for Olympics was unorthodox, closing down industries and cutting down traffic for the two months, but the series measures and the event itself gave a reason to think back and realize what is the footprint of the human activities (transport and industries) that we are experiencing in the form of air pollution and related health impacts. Same is true in case of Delhi and the coming commonwealth games.

Air pollution is rising problem in Delhi and the sources are many – inside and outside the city. For an ordinary person, who is breathing the polluted air at any of the junctions and along the major corridors, while stuck in the congested traffic, this giant vacuum cleaner sounds like a miracle solution. The machine is here to suck bad air and spew out clean air, with a freshener.

Are the officials suggesting that it is OK to pollute, because we are testing an innovative vacuum cleaner to clean the air we breathe, instead of acting on the technical and policy options, which might even be cheaper and faster to implement?

10,000 cubic meters of air per hour..? The energy budget needed to reach a significant level of clean air is huge and not realistic. Air flow, even in study conditions, for a distance of 350m (the operating zone for the machine), a height of 20m (the air we breathe), and an average wind speed of 2 m/sec, translates to 350*20*2*3600= 50,400,000 cubic meters per hour !!

Of this, at a point, 10,000 cubic meters of air is purified per hour. Now, think of a city which is 30km x 30km, at least. How many of these do we need and how effective are they really going to be?

Is this a realistic solution or giving false hopes of doing something? These are good for indoors, not for outdoors.

Anonymous said...


I think you have made absolutely correct observations in pointing out that this is not a good solution for the city. I think this is only a concept which can not be implemented across a city. With every machine costing around half a million, it is just a gimmick with no real future.. Cost of setting up wind energy farms would be equivalent with almost same amount of nuisance as created by an air purifier...

Anonymous said...


the job of a vaccum is to clean dirt by sucking it all out of the house, if we believe earth is our home then what is the harm in having few cleaners as we all do at home, there are more than a billion people in the world, is it possible to change habits of all of these people, we should stop driving our cars and start living in trees, we all live in a rational and practical world and we all do know that by just giving lectures to our coming generations we would not be able to fight problems like air pollution, since my childhood i have heard of the problem of air pollution and i think we have been concentrating for a long time on the problem rather than on the solution to the problem. our world needs solutions can u provide one.......

Anonymous said...

Watch Avatar.. follow the life style of Navis.. he he heh hee...

Anonymous said...

navis dont exist, we do and we have a mind of our own

Five Towns Air Conditioning & Vent Cleaning said...

Thanks for the update.We must be aware about the air pollution levels really.And we should make efforts to purify the air.

Magdalena said...

One of top health concerns includes indoor air pollutants. Using whole house air purifier is one way to address issue of indoor air pollutants. These purifiers work by controlling or eliminating source of the pollutants. The purifiers are attached to existing central heating or air system & work by filtering air as it passes back into house.


Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails we are in

Sport Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory blogarama - the blog directory Sports blogs blog directory Blog Directory Golden - Links Web Directory Blog Collector Free Website Directory

Blog Directory Blog Directory

Follow this site

Link exchange | Internet Marketing