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Eco Ideas: Air-Scrubbing Artificial Trees

Not only are these alien trees very cool to look at, they could potentially be coming to your city to help scrub the air you breath.

These “Treepods” (currently in concept form) were designed to be placed on city streets to mitigate carbon waste emissions.  They effectively remove carbon dioxide from the air you are breathing while walking down the street.  They also use solar energy to light them up in the colorful (if strange) patterns you see in the picture.

The designers submitted them for an eco-design competition in Boston this year.

A great idea to make our world a little more liveable for a longer time.  Every idea helps.

TREEPODS: Carbon-Scrubbing Artificial Trees for Boston City Streets | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

The TREEPOD systems are capable of removing carbon dioxide from the air and releasing oxygen using a carbon dioxide removal process called “humidity swing,”. In addition to their air-cleansing abilities, TREEPODS will also include solar energy panels and will harvest kinetic energy through an interactive seesaw that visitors can play with at the TREEPOD’s base. As passersby play on the seesaws they power displays that explain the TREEPODS’ de-carbonization process. Both the solar panels and the kinetic energy station will power the air filtration process, as well as interior lights.

The TREEPODS themselves will be made entirely of recycled/recyclable plastic from drink bottles. Based not only on trees, but on the human lung, the design of the “branches” will feature multiple contact points that serve as tiny CO2 filters. The proposed design, giant white and translucent canopies of trees, can be installed among existing trees or on their own. Interestingly, the TREEPODS have been compared to “urban furniture”: sleek yet functional design pieces that would fit into any urban environment. At night, the TREEPODS light up in an array of eye-catching colors.

Caceres and Canonico hope that these “trees” will function not just as examples of gorgeous urban design and sources of sustainable energy, but also as meeting places, allowing citizens to have an air purifying tree to sit under with friends and enjoy the day.

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2 comments

  1. I wonder if they suck up more CO2 then a real tree?

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    • Good question, they must cycle more CO2 out than a real tree otherwise we would just plant more trees, right? Or, maybe this is the response to us destroying so many trees that we have to augment nature? (scratches head)

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