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Spiderweb-like tower would harvest air pollution in London and turn it into biofuel

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London spiderweb pollution eating power Synth[e]tech[e]cology (Credit: Royal College of London)
London spiderweb pollution eating power Synth[e]tech[e]cology (Credit: Royal College of London)

Giant spiders haven't invaded London (as far as we know). But that's how it would look if one architecture masters student's vision came to fruition. Chang-Yeob Lee of the Royal College of Art wants to radically transform London's BT Tower at some point in the future, equipping it with exterior carbon fiber and steel rigging, designed to capture and convert air pollution into sustainable biofuel, Dezeen reported.

The BT Tower is one of the city's tallest buildings at 581 feet, giving it an ample position to collect soot and other fine particles and trap them, as well as carbon dioxide emissions. The rigging would also contain titanium dioxide nanotubes, which have a demonstrated capacity to turn carbon dioxide into natural gas by using water and sunlight. Lee's system would specifically be used to produce methanol on the order of 100 metric tones per year.

The new concept system, known as "Synth[e]tech[e]cology," is designed to eventually be ported to other tall derelict buildings which would collectively form a network to further reduce London's air pollution and provide economic benefit while doing so. "Pollution could be another economy," Lee told Dezeen. Of course, Lee is hardly the first to conceive of a way to use infrastructure as a pollution-curbing mechanism, and various other cities from Chicago to Mexico City have smaller structures already in place that aim to do the same thing. The architecture student created the concept as his diploma project and was named one of two winners of the Sheppard Robson Student Prize for Architecture Winners in late June.