Super Green Commuting: Air Purifying Bike Will Filter Pollution, Release Clean Oxygen For Rider
Riding through city traffic on a bicycle will no longer be a fume-breathing, smog-inhaling threat to physical and mental health when the prototype Air-Purifier bike, by Bangkok-based Lightfog, is produced and gets on the road.
The bike is designed with an air filter in the handlebars and a "plant-based tech" system that mimics photosynthesis, powered by an onboard battery, BikingLondon.com reported. Even though the pollution-eating bicycle is not yet available, Lightfog has already won a Red Dot Award for Design Concept 2014, and the bicycle is posted in an online exhibition. The award for the Air-Purifier Bike design went to the company, Lightfog Creative and Design Co., Ltd., and to designers Silawat Virakul, Torsakul Kosaikul, Suvaroj Poosrivongvanid.
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Lightfog Creative Director Silawat Virakul told Fast Co. Design he wanted to "add more value to a bicycle by adding its ability to reduce the pollution," The Huffington Post reported. The electric bicycle would generate oxygen from a reaction between water and electricity produced by the lithium-ion battery that powers the bike, according to TreeHugger.com. The design, however, shows the air filter to be rather small, putting into question how much air would be processed during a ride or how much oxygen could be produced, TreeHugger noted.
The Air-Puriifier Bike is one more product offering to cut back on emissions of automobile and truck pollutants, which include hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and carbon dioxide. In a 10-mile round-trip commute, five days a week, for a year, a commuter in a small car uses 68 gallons of gasoline with emissions of 0.7 tons of carbon dioxide, according to YouCanBikeThereFromHere.com. A medium-sized car uses 124 gallons of gasoline and causes an emissions of 1.3 tons of carbon dioxide. When it comes to an SUV on that same yearly commute, the vehicle uses 170 gallons of gas with emissions of 1.9 tons of carbon dioxide.
More than 500 cities around the globe have bicycle-rental progams in an effort to encourage cycling, improve health, and to reduce carbon emissions from cars, according to rtcc.org, a website that focuses on responding to climate change. Transportation produces 30 percent of all U.S. global warming emissions, including more than one-third of all U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Passenger cars and light trucks create the lion's share of U.S. transportation emissions, and collectively produce more than one-fifth of the nation's total global warming pollution. The remaining transportation emissions come from medium and heavy-duty vehicles, primarily freight trucks and buses, as well as aircraft, shipping, rail, and military uses.
Every gallon of gas burned emits nearly 25 lbs. of carbon dioxide and other global-warming gases into the atmosphere. About 5 lbs. of that comes from the extraction of petroleum, and the production and delivery of the fuel. The bulk of heat-trapping emissions — more than 19 lbs. per gallon — comes out of a car's tailpipe, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Each year, the average car sends seven tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
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