Commuting to work by bicycle is a no brainer way to cut down on air pollution. While ditching a gas-guzzler for a two-wheeler and a little manpower is undoubtedly eco-friendly, all it does is reduce emissions. Well, what if your bike could actually clean polluted air as you traveled?
What's the Deal?
Matt Hope is an artist whose work spans from intricate architectural drawings to construction (sometimes with LEGOs) and enormous sculptures. He created a pedal-powered air filtration system to ride around Beijing, China. While many of the city’s residents wear masks that help filter the air they breathe, Hope created a bike that filters and cleans the air as he rides.
Why It Matters
Hope created the funny-looking contraption out of “bits of junk.” The air gets sucked into a mesh trashcan on one end (covering a home air filtration system), as each pedal powers a wind generator in the center. The filtered air travels through a tube to a fighter-pilot mask that’s connected to a moped helmet in front. We’d be lying if we said the bike rider didn’t end up looking like someone preparing for the “airpocalypse.”
In all seriousness, Beijing’s pollution rates have reached hazardous levels according to the World Health Organization. The air literally tastes bad. So, to combat the stinky, dangerous-to-breathe air, Hope used his basic mechanical knowledge to construct the bike.
Is It Legit?
Not quite yet. Hope says the 5,000 volts of energy that the air-cleaning bike creates is “like really deadly.” In fact, pedaling it in the rain could actually electrocute the rider. While the technology works in theory, the bike needs some testing and reinventing before it reaches commercial success and helps clean the air, one trip to the grocery store at a time.
What did you think of the air-cleaning bike? Do you think it’ll take off? Let us know in the comment section below or tweet the author @nicmcdermott.