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This Engineer Has a Low-Cost Solution to Outdoor Air Pollution

The device is said to clean 80% of the air impurities coming from factory chimneys.


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The problem with outdoor air pollution is a serious one: according to the World Health Organization, it causes about 3 million premature deaths in cities and rural areas worldwide in 2012, which can be due to stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and other chronic and acute respiratory diseases.

From the 3 million, about 88% occurred in low- and middle-income countries.  Niger in Western Africa, among others, is vulnerable to this kind of pollution – and one engineer there does not want to take the situation sitting down and had to find an engineering solution.

Abdou Barmini is a young inventor who seeks for an anti-air pollution solution. So far he has developed a device that cleans air from industrial fumes, something that he is really proud of.

Called the APFI Barelec, the T-shaped device is said to clean 80% of the air impurities coming from factory chimneys. It works by being installed at the base of the chimney of factories expelling the fumes, capturing the CO2-containing heavy substances via an affinity-based chemical assay that binds CO2 particles.


GIF via Giphy

Since there are two branches of the device, the other one is used for expelling the purified fumes which goes out into the air.

As of writing, the device is still at the prototype level. Garba Boubacar, a colleague of Barmini and researcher in physics and environmental studies at the University of Niamey, Niger, said that there needs to be an improvement with the device, like fixing other particles on the device to achieve a purification rate closer to 100%. He said that there are other heavy particles found in the fumes other than carbon dioxide.

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But what makes this device different from other air purifiers in the industry is that the APFI Barelec does not use a filter unlike existing outdoor purifiers. Also, it was built with local materials that the 22-year-old engineer recycled, adapted and assembled to his needs, far from the usual domestic purifies which are electronic devices.


GIF via Giphy

The device is a product of Barmini after two years of self-funded research. He believes that the in a nation where dry climate, severe drought and recurrent famine are regular problems, air pollution should no longer add to the pile.

Source: Global Voices

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