Key Technologies That Can Reduce Air Pollution in Cities

Toxic air pollutants from vehicle and industry emissions are entering the mitochondria of the heart tissue causing cardiac stress or a ‘silent heart disease epidemic.’ Indeed, air pollution is an issue that affects the health of the people with some unknown consequences. One of the ways to fight environmental pollution is to use technology advancement. Fortunately, technology is constantly evolving to combat the effects of pollution and produce cleaner air.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Predict Spikes in Air Pollution

There are several ways to control pollution by using scrubbers, air filters, cyclones, mist collectors, incinerators, and catalytic reactors for industries to reduce or remove impurities in the air. However, to ensure that air pollution control systems are working properly, Polsys recommends that the equipment should be maintained and serviced at regular intervals. If you fail to perform preventive maintenance, you risk equipment malfunction. The bottom line is, maintenance is essential for all devices to ensure optimal performance.

For example, technology company, Now Wireless, has developed a new tech using AI that can predict air pollution levels one hour in advance using analyses from CCTV cameras, weather measurements and forecasts, and historic readings, among others. Based on vehicle and air quality data, the technology links to traffic lights and digital displays to direct and control vehicle movements.

The pollution predictor technology is supposed to be 97% accurate according to the company. Predictive knowledge is continuously updated in real-time. For areas that are facing congestion and poor air quality, the predictor offers an alternative to immediate vehicle bans. It helps people and authorities plan given current pollution levels. In addition, air pollution information and forecasting can motivate citizens to change individual behavior if they are aware of the differences in the air quality they breathe and the effects of hazardous toxins on their health. The predictor system will also need to be maintained to make sure that it is running properly.

Graphene Coating to Remove Pollutants

Currently, the use of photocatalyst such as titania is an effective method to reduce air pollution. Activated by solar light, the material causes a chemical reaction that can degrade air pollutants. Photocatalysis is a powerful method to depollute the environment without consuming the photocatalysts. 

Hence, researchers at the Italcementi Heidelberg Cement Group and the University of Cambridge decided to combine graphene and titania to enhance the photocatalytic reaction. The result is a graphene solution that can be coated on surfaces such as the exterior of buildings to degrade 70% of nitrogen oxide (NOx). The residues of the reaction are harmless and can be washed away by rain or wind. The solution is in powder form and can be applied to different materials including concrete. According to the authors of the study, it is a low-maintenance and environmentally-friendly solution to remove air pollutants.

Air pollution is the world’s largest environmental risk. The good news is technology is constantly being updated to remove, reduce, and prevent pollutants from circulating in the air. When used widely, technology can improve air quality and the health of the people as well as allow the environment to recover. 


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BDC 318 : Jul 2024