Pollution-fighting bus stops have been designed to zap exhaust fume particles and pump out fresh air for pedestrians.
Airlabs, a Piccadilly-based
start-up, believes adding its oxidation filters to bus stops, the sides
of buildings and on Tube platforms could help people breathe more
easily and save lives.
It is claimed that the technology, costing from £4,000, is most
effective in high-density areas with the worst pollution, such as
Oxford Street and Farringdon Street in the City.
The system has been installed in European factories and at the Danish
embassy in Beijing, and Airlabs believes it could be used to fight
toxic air on London streets.
The start-up is backed by SGO, whose chairman Lord Malloch-Brown is
among speakers at today’s 2016 Global Innovation Summit event, by
Imperial College and the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils.
Airlabs chief executive Sophie Power said their technology is
particularly beneficial for people close to exhaust level on the road,
neutralising harmful chemicals and providing clean air.
She said: “We take in air through the unit, which is then passed out to provide clean air where people need it.
“This method is low energy and low maintenance, so well suited to city infrastructure.”
The system is effective against pollutants in exhaust fumes,
including nitrogen dioxide and PM2.5, particulates which have been
linked to respiratory diseases that contribute to the deaths of nearly
9,500 Londoners every year.
Independent tests on the Airlabs system were conducted in Marylebone
Road by the Environmental Research Group at King’s College London.
David Green, who led the research, called results from the kerbside
tests “promising” after they showed 87 per cent of NO2 was removed from
Ms Power said the units have been tweaked to now remove “almost all” nitrogen dioxide.
A further test unit is planned for Oxford Street, where pollution
breached the legal limit for a whole year after just four days in 2015.