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China’s giant 200-foot chimney sucks in pollution, spews out clean air

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China has a pretty severe pollution problem, with smog in some parts of the country so bad that it can discolor buildings and even blot out the sun. According to some estimates, high levels of air pollution in China’s cities cause up to 350,000 to 400,000 premature deaths each year. But a new project in Xi’an, one of the nation’s most severely polluted cities, aims to help — courtesy of an enormous 200-foot chimney. Unlike most chimneys, however, this one won’t add to the levels of air pollution, but rather act as an outdoor air purifying system, filtering out noxious particulate matter and blowing out clean air into the sky.

The chimney is designed to remove particles termed PM2.5, referring to particulate matter with an ultra-fine mass of less than 2.5 micrometers. This is known to be very dangerous to individuals and can increase age-specific mortality risk, particularly from cardiovascular causes.

“The Solar-Assisted Large-Scale Cleaning System (SALSCS) consists of a circular or rectangular based green house with glass panels that gradually rise toward the center tower,” Professor David Y.H. Pui, one of the researchers on the project, told Digital Trends. “Solar heating warms the polluted ambient air drawn in below the panels, and the warm air rises towards the center tower due to its buoyancy effect. A filter bank is placed around the tower entrance to remove the PM2.5 pollutants, so that only clean air exits the outlet on the top of the tower. By placing the SALSCS near a large city, it will pull the polluted air into the SALSCS and return the clean air to the city to reduce the PM2.5 concentration. The SALSCS glass panels are coated with nanoparticles to remove nitrogen oxides, one of the major precursors of PM2.5 and ozone.”

While results have yet to be published, the $2 million project has reportedly yielded positive results. Pui said that the project’s research group have found a 19 percent decrease in PM2.5 concentrations across a 10-square-kilometer area surrounding the Xi’an SALSCS, compared with other parts of the city.

“It took Los Angeles several decades to achieve today’s [levels of pollution in China by controlling the pollutants at their source,]” Pui continued. “It is likely that China can achieve it in a much shorter time due to available new technologies and the tightening of the emission standards. In a shorter term of 10-15 years, China can benefit from deploying the SALSCS technology for large scale cleaning of urban air pollution.”

Next up, Pui said the team hopes to build a much larger SALSCS in Xi’an, measuring a significantly bigger 1,000 feet. They also want to expand to other parts of China, as well as beyond.

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France wins second World Cup after 20 years.

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France won the Fifa World Cup for the second time by overcoming Croatia’s bold challenge in a thrilling final in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.

Didier Deschamps’ side repeated the success on home soil at France ’98 by a margin that hardly looked possible as Croatia stood toe-to-toe with the favourites for an hour.

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France’s victory meant Deschamps, who captained them 20 years ago, became just the third man to win the competition as a player and coach.

Croatia also felt their luck deserted them, but ultimately France ran out victorious to erase the memories of the loss to Portugal in the Euro 2016 final in Paris.

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AU partners Somalia to launch road safety sensitization campaign

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The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has revealed its plans to launch a road safety sensitization campaign in the Horn of Africa nation targeting various road users.

Christine Alalo, Acting AMISOM Police Commissioner, also said the AU mission will also intensify training of traffic police officers in Mogadishu and the federal states on managing road traffic which is on the increase in major towns.

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Alalo noted in a statement issued in Mogadishu that the traffic police officers will play a major role in the sensitization campaign both at the federal and state levels.

“Depending on funding, we intend to extend this training to every traffic police officer in Mogadishu and the federal member states,” Alalo said while closing a 10-day training organized for 25 traffic police officers, drawn from various police stations in the city.

Alalo said the objective of the training was to address the traffic challenges currently faced due to increased number of vehicles and other modes of transport on the city’s roads.

“When you see so many vehicles; Bajajs (motorcycle cabs) and donkeys in the town, it comes with challenges and the challenge is the indiscipline on the road,” she added.

Alalo urged the officers to work closely with community members to not only help in strengthening the rule of law but also promoting peace and security.

Bashir Abdi Mohamed Somali, Police Force Commissioner said the training will help the officers in enforcing traffic rules.

It is expected that the training will enable the officers enforce traffic laws to curb indiscipline on roads and also minimize accidents.

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