At the city of Xi’an in Shaanxi province, China, an experimental 60-metre-tall air purifying tower has been built this year, to clear the air and help curb the city’s air pollution.

Scientists have said that the chimney like structure shows great promise, offering a technological solution to cleaning pollutants in the air. They say that the tower can produce up to 10 million cubic metres of clean air in one day.

The building works by extracting air at the ground level, heating the air in glass green houses located at the base and then passing it through a series of filters before finally releasing the clean air at the top.

The tower has had a significant effect on the surrounding area. The facility is able to reduce smog particle concentrations by 15% on heavy pollution days, and it has the ability to clean the air of a 10 square kilometre area.

However, the fact of the matter is that cities are not sealed boxes. There is a constant inflow of pollution and the tower can only clean the air of the immediate area. As such, just one facility may not be enough to combat the air pollution problem.

While this tower is not the first air-purifying facility to be made in the country, it is the first large-scale trial. Should this pilot program become successful, facilities of a larger scale may be built in the future, which in turn would be able to clean more air in a wider area.

Plans for a 500 metre tall facility are already in place. This facility would be able to clean the air of an area of 30 square kilometres.

Will these towers turn out to be the solution to China’s smog and air pollution problems? The idea is unique, and we will simply have to wait and see.