China has a found a novel way to tackle its massive air pollution problem: Putting up a giant air purifier the size of an industrial smokestack in the middle of a smog-plagued city.
Instead of pumping out billows of black smoke like the chimneys rising from factories in the northern province of Shaanxi, the 60-meter (197-foot) tall structure on the outskirts of the regional capital Xian blasts clean air.
Standing between high-rises, the device is capable of cleaning between five million and 18 million cubic meters of air each day, depending on the weather, season, and level of pollution, according to a report by the Chinese website Thecover.cn.
The tower can reduce the density of PM 2.5 -- the tiny airborne particles considered most harmful to health -- by between 10 and 19 percent in a 10 square kilometer area, the website said.
PM 2.5 can play a role in heart disease, stroke, and lung ailments such as emphysema and cancer. For now, the facility -- which was built in June 2016 -- is just an experiment.