03 — ElectReon recharging smart Road in Sweden
Many cities, including London, are introducing ultra-low emissions zones, barring petrol and diesel vehicles from certain highly populated parts of the city to reduce emissions. Amsterdam wants to ban petrol and diesel cars and motorbikes by 2030 under its Clean Air Action plan. And in their place, electric vehicles are taking to the streets. But installing charging points is a challenge. Sweden has a solution: the ElectReon recharging road near Stockholm has two rail tracks embedded in the middle of the lane, into which a moveable arm at the bottom of a vehicle can dock, recharging electric vehicles as you drive.
04 — Biosolar Leaf
We all know the power of trees to naturally clean the environment, but planting them and waiting for them to grow not only takes time, but also space. Researchers at Imperial College London and biotech startup, Arborea, have managed to crunch down the air cleaning powers of trees into a smaller package — the Biosolar Leaf. Harnessing the power of algae, the leaf supposedly does the work of 100 trees for the surface area of just one. Tiles peppered with microscopic plants such as microalgae and phytoplankton can be installed on rooftops, naturally cleaning the air around us.
05 — Xi’an air cleaning tower
A 100-metre-high tower in Xi’an, in China’s Shaanxi province, helps clean air of smog in a 10 square-kilometre radius. The tower sucks in air and pushes it down to the greenhouses around its base. There the air heats up and rises back up the tower, passing through cleaning filters on the way. Levels of PM2.5 dropped by up to 15 per cent when passed through the tower. The construction also manages to clean up air at scale — around 10 million cubic metres a day at peak.