Cannons Are Cleaning Air In China Now

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China’s government has been pushing an aggressive modernization strategy, hoping to do in years what it took other countries decades to do. The result is an economic shift, but also record levels of pollution and poor air quality. Some cities are fighting back by deploying cannons — mist cannons.

he air quality index is a system for measuring the general level of concern posed by particulates. The smog-filled air of many Chinese cities have long since passed the “good” and “moderate” ranges, which top out at 50 and 100, respectively. Even the “unhealthy” range at 151 to 200 can seem like a good day. Some Chinese cities are commonly above 301, which is considered hazardous for all people. Beijing has even gotten into the 700s a few times recently. The scale officially tops out at 500 and we heard Canada is exporting fresh air to them, which is only logical.

These machines work by nebulizing water into small particles and spraying it into the air. The water sticks to the particles and pulls them out of the air. This technology is used to keep coal dust and other industrial particulates from getting into workers’ lungs, but it works equally well on smog. A vehicle-mounted version of the mist cannon costs nearly $100,000, but a smaller stationary version if just $12,000.

The upgraded machines can produce water droplets as small as 10 microns, which make it effective for particles of that size or larger. The smaller 2.5 micron particulates in the air, which are the most damaging for humans, aren’t as easily controlled



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