A Mexico City engineer and architect is proposing an airborne laboratory and pollution capture device to clean up the air in the country’s capital.
Salvador Silva Contreras this week presented an atmospheric clean-up and rehabilitation project, which utilizes a dirigible balloon flying at an altitude of 100-300 meters over areas with high concentrations of pollutants.
The airship would be equipped with an atmospheric laboratory, a suction device, a filter and a storage container.
Pollutants captured through a thermo-chemical process could be buried in the Sonora desert, in an area already used for similar purposes, explained the inventor, who has been working on his plan for 10 years.
Silva has identified the Chichinautzin volcano south of Mexico City as a suitable place to perform a trial run.
He proposes the use of three airships in areas with the worst air pollution levels.
Silva explained that each airship could clean 11% of the city’s polluted air in two years for a total investment of US $25.5 million.
Some funding could be obtained by selling advertising space on the Zeppelin’s surface, he said.
The inventor wants to present his project to Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum and is waiting for an opportunity to do so.
Another proposal for addressing the city’s air pollution, which was so bad last week that an Extraordinary Environmental Contingency was in effect for four days, was to install giant exhaust fans that would push the bad air out of the Valley of México through tunnels in the mountains. The mayor has nixed the idea on the grounds that it would not address the root cause of the problem.