The worldwide problem of air pollution has continued to grow at a rapid rate due to uncontrolled sources. Vehicles, planes and trains sustained their exhaust levels, worsening the air quality. Power plants, oil refineries, and industrial facilities did not stop at producing toxic air pollutants. With this, air pollution has infiltrated not only urbanized areas but rural communities. This is Filipino Engineering Students in action.
Source: GMA News
According to a new study, around 92% of the world’s human population are exposed to air pollution levels that exceed the “safe” limits set by the World Health Organization (WHO). Apart from its great impact to climate change, polluted air has contributed to health risks like asthma.
This effect is something that can be felt by the people in Los Banos in the province of Laguna, Philippines. In 2015, 179 asthma cases were recorded by the local government unit, with 42 cases so far this 2016.
Source: GMA News
One of the mass transportation systems used in the area are tricycles. About 200 tricycles operate in Los Banos, which leave massive smoke from their mufflers ultimately harming its environment and the people.
Abigael Rubiano and her fellow students from the University of the Philippines – Los Banos noticed that the exhaust coming from these tricycles have reached significant levels. Using their knowledge in chemical engineering, they have provided a cheap solution to the problem.
Their technology is a filter made from crushed mussels that cleans tricycle exhaust. Mussels contain calcium carbonate that can absorb air pollutants from its surface.
It works by wrapping the crushed mussels in gauze and placing it inside a metal cylinder, which is to be attached to the exhaust pipe. That’s it.
While this seems to be an effective engineering solution to curb air pollutants coming from tricycle exhausts, the challenge is to convince tricycle drivers to adopt this innovation. After conducting seminars about the effects of air pollution to the environment, the proponents were able to gain the approval of the tricycle drivers, 50 of which now are using the exhaust filter.
A private company presently provides the funds for this project.