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Beijing Smog To Be Turned Into Jewels

The CCTV tower in Beijing shrouded in smog.
The CCTV tower in Beijing shrouded in smog.
Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde and his team of designers and engineers are developing a safe, energy-friendly installation to capture smog and create clean air.

As Roosegaarde puts it, the smog-clearing method is like a giant "electronic vacuum cleaner" that produces a column of clean air.

How does Roosegaarde's "SMOG project" work? Copper coils buried underground create a positively charged electrostatic field. Particles of at least 10 nanometers become positively charged, and thus attracted to the grounded earth, where they are collected.

A small-scaled prototype is currently being tested near Rotterdam, and Roosegaarde's team will spend this year scaling up the installation.

Roosegaarde says he has reached an agreement with the authorities in China's notoriously polluted capital to test a prototype of his invention in a city park in 2015.

The version planned for Beijing is expected to have a cleaning diameter of 50 meters.

WATCH: Roosegaarde's YouTube video on "Cleaning Beijing Sky":

And Roosegaarde has taken his idea one step further, by planning to turn the collected pollutants into jewelry.

Traditional rings will be mounted with a clear stones containing compressed smog particles extracted from Beijing's air. The black dust will be configured in a cube of about a millimeter in width, symbolizing a cubic kilometer of smog cleaned from the skies.

Roosegaarde says he also plans a version of the ring with a manufactured diamond produced by presses capable of transmuting the particles of dirty air into the valuable stone.

In January, Beijing's mayor pledged to cut coal use by 2.6 million tons and set aside $2.4 billion to improve air quality this year as part of an "all-out effort" to tackle pollution.

State news agency Xinhua reported that Beijing reported 58 days of serious pollution last year, or one every six to seven days on average.
Written by Antoine Blua with reporting by Reuters and "The New York Times"
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