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China To Deploy Smog-Clearing Drones To Control Pollution

China To Deploy Smog-Clearing Drones To Control Pollution

Unmanned aircraft will freeze pollutants in midair with 176 pounds of chemicals.

Ross Brooks


China recently declared a “war on pollution” and has decided that drones will be on the front lines. The unmanned machine will fire chemicals into the air, which will freeze pollutants and cause them to fall to the ground. Armed with
176 pounds of chemicals, which is expected to clear a five-kilometer radius, the drones will launch later this month.

The country is no stranger to drones, and has used fixed-wing versions of the aircraft to clear chemicals before important public events around the country. Equipped with a gliding parachute, and developed by a Chinese company, the new drones are said to be 90% cheaper. Airports and ports around northern China are likely to be the first places where the drones will go into action.

china-pollution-chemical-drones-cloud-seeding.jpg
While it might be a novel use for the drones, the chemicals don’t actually remove any pollutants, they just get them out of the sky. So while many of the country’s most-polluted cities will look more aesthetically pleasing, there is a strong chance that much of the pollution will just find a new home on the city streets.

Other goals mentioned at this year’s
Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), such as lower energy consumption, reduced emissions, the closure of 50,000 coal furnaces, and more alternative energy sources, are all much more sustainable approaches to the pollution problem in China.

Source: Hindustan Times, Quartz
Images: maxful, cmccain202dc via Flickr

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