The reduction of air pollution and the health problems it causes are among the biggest factors driving (sorry) the grown of low-carbon, clean air initiatives from power companies and automakers. And, sure, reducing the output of harmful emissions is a necessary thing, but what can we do about the pollution that’s already out there? That’s the question being asked by UK-based firm Pollution Solution, and its answer is a new “cat’s eye-style” in-ground filter that the company claims will be able to substantially reduce air pollution at busy intersections.

Before we get too far into this article, it’s worth noting here that, in the UK, the lane reflectors in the middle of most roads are commonly referred to as “cat’s eyes.” You know, because they reflect your car’s headlights and look like a cat’s eyes staring back at you? No?

Maybe you have to be British.

In any event, the idea put forward by Pollution Solution is fairly easy to understand. Basically, the company would install a couple of suction fans into the road itself, which would look something like cat’s eye reflectors to motorists. These fans would draw in vehicle emissions, and push that pollution-heavy air through a connected filtration system, thereby scrubbing the air of up to 99% of pollutants. You can check out the company’s own illustration of the concept, below.

Pollution Solution Roadside Filter

“It is time for the government and local authorities to take real action,” says Thomas Delgado, CEO of Pollution Solution and inventor of the road-embedded filter tech. “There are around 40,000 new cases of people around the country (the UK, that is) suffering from serious pollution-related illnesses — (illnesses) such as coronary heart disease, lung cancer and asthma — every year due to UK road-based pollution alone. And, shockingly at least 9,000 people die prematurely as a result every year. The consequences of poor air quality are tragic, but we can change this very quickly.”

Depending on who you believe, air pollution-related illness costs the UK government up to £20 billion per year. Delgado’s filters could help alleviate a good percentage of that, he argues, by reducing air pollution where it is thickest: in dense, urban areas with lots of pedestrians and lots of stopped, idling vehicles.

Source: CleanTechnica