The CityTree is just a mosses wall, plus a bench that gives comfort to pedestrians and filters 250 grams of pollutant particles per day!
CityTree is a project designed by "Green City Solutions.” It seems complex. It is not that much. Click here and decide for yourself how fast and straightforward it is.
How the world's first smart air filter works
The operation of CityTree consists of creating an environment depolluted from the action of the mosses existing on the plates. Mosses are specially grown for urban environments and can naturally and efficiently filter air pollutants such as particles and nitrogen dioxide.
As the survival of mosses in large cities is almost nil because of the lack of shade and the low humidity, the plants that stay on the wall provide the shade that mosses need to filter the local air.
Plants keep humid thanks to solar panels that provide the energy to collect rainwater, redistributed through a built-in irrigation system.
So these are the two most important "ingredients" of CityTree, an unprecedented experience:
Mosses: they are natural agents that absorb polluting particles.
Plants: provide the shade that mosses need to thrive in an urban environment.
In other words, the wall of irrigated mosses produces a cooling effect in the surrounding area, helping to combat the so-called "island effect" of urban heat.
"In a short time, CityTree will be able to create clean air environments in Europe’s most polluted cities that adopt the system. We are delighted to add London to this list, and we hope to see much more CityTrees in other cities around the world!" said Peter Sänger, Founder and COO of Green City Solutions.
The project has already been successful in several European capitals, such as Berlin, London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Oslo. The tendency, of course, is to spread across the continent and around the world.
Why isn't CityTree reinventing the tree?
Even though a single CityTree unit can purify the air just like 275 trees, it takes only 1% of the space these trees would occupy. However, it will never be a real tree because it has other functions and benefits that everyone knows. In other words, no technology can replace trees!
The location of a CityTree is decided after software measures the local microclimate and air conditions.
CityTree's employment in big cities' polluted spots has become super-important as it is a project that demands fewer costs. This is because studies say that it takes about seven or eight trees to produce enough oxygen for a person.
Imagine how many trees would a city of millions of people need. And its employment has been an alternative and the more economical requirement for improving the city’s air quality specific environments, where pollution is worse.
Pollution has always been present in the history of humanity
Heavy or polluted air has always been present in man's history, regardless of the time. In Ancient Rome, for example, people burned wood, and black smoke was impregnated in everything and generated respiratory diseases in the most sensitive population.
But it was the Industrial Revolution that worsens it. From then on, the human impact on air quality was massive. The waste generated by the combustion of coal began the era of air pollution.
Thus, air pollutants are known as the following:
Primary pollutants: released directly into the atmosphere and from anthropic and natural sources.
Secondary pollutants: products of chemical and photochemical reactions, which occur in the atmosphere involving the primary pollutants.
Pollutants that contaminate the planet Earth’s environment
Carbon Monoxide (CO)
A gas originated from the incomplete burning of fuel.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
A gas produced from cellular respiration becomes the cause of air pollution, such as decomposition and the burning of fossil fuels.
A gas emitted by air conditioners, refrigerators, aerosol sprays, etc. Currently, these compounds are banned almost all over the world.
Sulfur Oxides (SOx)
It is the most harmful gas to health produced in industrial processes and volcanic activities.
Nitrogen dioxide (NO)
A gas originated from combustion by microbiological action or by lightning. In the atmosphere, NOx reacts with volatile organic compounds and carbon monoxide, producing tropospheric ozone.
Volatile Organic Compounds (COVs)
These compounds are organic chemical elements emitted from various sources, including fossil fuel burning, industrial activities, natural vegetation, and fires emissions.
This substance is present in agriculture, and it is present in fertilizers. In the atmosphere, ammonia is a type of air pollution that reacts by forming secondary pollutants.
Particulate Matter (PM)
This type of material is from volcanic eruptions, sandstorms, fog formation, and other natural processes. Human action produces MP in industrial activities, mining, and combustion of fossil fuels.
Tropospheric Ozone (O3)
Although it is essential in the atmosphere to block solar radiation, this type of ozone is from the troposphere, an atmospheric layer closest to the earth's surface, because of reactions with other pollutants.