Featured in

Global opportunity explorer

Global Opportunity Explorer2019 Insights

A celebration of on-going activities on the Global Opportunity Explorer


The Smog Free Tower is a seven-metre-tall smog vacuum cleaner. Using ionisation technology, it filters 30,000m³ of air each hour, removing particulates and crushing the particulate carbon to make thought-provoking gemstones.

As part of their Smog Free Project, Studio Roosegaarde has developed a seven-metre-tall aluminium tower that they liken to a giant pollution vacuum. However, unlike a conventional vacuum cleaner, the towers rely on positive ionisation technology, whereby statically charged particles attract polluting particulates and remove them from the air.

The Smog Free Tower consumes around the same amount of electricity as a kettle, but where possible, the designers have attempted to run them from renewable energy sources. The Tower can filter 30,000 of air every hour, and removes between 50-70% of small particulate matter. To date, it has been installed in cities in the Netherlands, Poland, India and China. The company also produce jewellery featuring black, diamond-like rocks from the collected particulate matter.

Why you should care

It is estimated that air pollution is responsible for around seven million premature deaths every year. The Smog Free Tower can directly improve air quality in public spaces using their patented ionisation technique.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Good health and wellbeing

The Smog Free Tower has been shown to remove up to 70% of the ingested PM10 particulate pollution and up to 50% of the ingested PM2.5 particulates in an airflow, helping to create smog-free public spaces and reducing people’s exposure to air pollution.

Sustainable cities and communities

The Smog Free Tower can reduce the environmental impact per capita of cities by reducing annual mean levels of particulate air matter if implemented at scale.