Korea employs innovative solutions to tackle fine dust

Korea employs innovative solutions to tackle fine dust

Armed with science and technology, the Korean
government is tackling the country’s fine and ultra fine dust problem as one of nine
national research and development projects through the year 2023. The goal is to rid the air of the dust particles
that not only spur global warming, but also pose significant dangers to human health. Our Oh Sooyoung has more on tackling fine
dust: Korea’s new growth engine. Invisible specks of dust smaller than grains
of pollen fog up the sky and pollute the air we breathe. Fine and ultra fine dust particles are so
minute that they can also penetrate and clog the lungs, causing respiratory problems like
asthma or even cancer. In Korea, the concentration of fine dust particles
has remained persistently high compared to other developed countries,… at 29 micrograms
per cubic meter,… or double the OECD average. But now, the Korean government is aiming to
cut that figure in half within seven years. It’s one of nine national projects launched
last month to boost future industries and the quality of life for all citizens. “In the past, studies on fine dust were conducted
separately by different ministries and research groups. This time, the government is taking a comprehensive
approach using science and technology.” The first task at hand is identifying emission
points and quantifying how much they each produce to compile a solid database. “Unlike primary particulates that are emitted
in dust form, it’s hard to track down where secondary dust comes from, as it’s formed
by nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide floating in the air. If we identify these points, it can help us
set goals and create effective policies.” Building on that roadmap, researchers will
work to optimize the core technologies and integrate them with artificial intelligence
to measure and predict fine dust levels. Developments are already underway. “With the growing interest in small pollutant
particles, our carbon-tracing technology was jointly developed by the science and environment
ministries.” One research team has come up with a way to
trace black carbon, a component of fine dust. “Less than point-one micrometer in size, black
carbon can cause health problems when inhaled. And because of its color, it absorbs solar
light, which warms the air and contributes to global warming.” Laser beams are shot into a box where light-absorbing
particles like black carbon are flown into an interferometer. As the interferometer heats, it produces a
higher voltage signal. The change in voltage indicates the amount
of black carbon particles present. “Previous devices used filters to sample aerosols,
but we removed the filter and used a laser-based interferometer, increasing the accuracy. Our device traces the small amounts that conventional
fine dust detectors can’t pick up, paving the way for future detection technologies.” Another core focus is developing cost-efficient
technology for removing dust particles and pollutants like nitrogen oxide and sulfur
oxide . This engineering company develops dust collection
systems to improve air quality. “We have plenty of core technologies that
could be worked on as potential solutions for the government initiative. We just need the right policies and the resolve
to push it through.” With one system, particles as small as point-one
micrometer can be captured through electrostatic attraction when they’re charged at a high
voltage. The company has also developed a fabric filter
that can remove the harmful dust in flue gas from large facilities. “We’re working with manufacturing plants,
steel producers and other processors to figure out how we can improve and optimize the technologies
for each field.” The government aims to have fine dust removal
technologies like these up and running in three years’ time. “By 2023, the government aims to expand the
use of fine dust data and technology to help create services and gadgets that will improve
every day life in Korea.” The impact of these developments is also expected
to reach beyond Korea’s borders, as fine dust control is expected to be one of the leading
industries of the future. “We could help control the levels of air pollution
in China through information sharing. And as areas like AI are in the early stages
of development, other countries facing regional air pollution issues could benefit from our
progress and solutions, across Asia and even in Europe.” By developing innovative solutions based on
state-of-the-art technology, Korean researchers are aiming to clear the air, not just in Korea
but in other countries. Oh Soo-young, Arirang News.

1 Comment found on this post


    "Innovative" and "Creative" are some of the words which don't exist in the dictionary of Korea, aren't they?


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