Pollution filter cleans air at Derbyshire village traffic hot spots by around 40 per cent
A north Derbyshire firm is testing a special filter which absorbs pollutants - reducing harmful small particles in nearby air by around 40 per cent - at traffic “hot spots”.
Microtech Filters’ prototype - which is approximately 1.2 metres tall - sucks tiny particles through an intake at the top and blows clean air out of the bottom.
While sensors detect the difference in air quality before it enters the unit and as it is expelled.
Amazingly, the Pinxton-based firm say measurements they have taken while testing the filter for the past six months show particles of 2.5 microns or less in width have been reduced by 40 per cent in the areas where the unit has been placed.
A favourite location for the ingenious device is at the traffic lights on Pinxton’s Town Street - very close to the M1 and the A38.
Tom Stone, Microtech Filters business development manager, said pollution levels at the site - taking the major roads and stop-start traffic into account - were “obscene”.
He and his colleagues hope that - working in partnership with Bolsover District Council and Pinxton Parish Council - the filters will become permanent fixtures in the village.
He said: “The amount of lorries going through Pinxton at that junction is unbelievable.
“And with the stop-start traffic the filter’s not just picking up engine particulates but brake dust and tyre matter.”
Microtech hope to develop their filter for use across the UK for use outside places such as schools, parks, railway stations and drive-throughs.
Tom told how Micro Filters’ managing director Paddy Moore was inspired to work on the green filter after hearing about the death of nine-year-old Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, from Lewishan, London.
Ella was the first person in the UK to have air pollution listed as a cause of death.
The filter is currently powered by a lithium battery but the firm are working on a way of linking it with power supplies from lamp posts.
Tom said: “We’re currently working with Bolsover District Council and Pinxton Parish Council and at the moment we’re still gathering data but the truck shows people what we’re doing.
“We also want to take it to schools to educate young people about what we’re doing.”
However it could be some time before the filter goes into mass production, pending commitments from the UK and other Governments to make such devices legally-binding.
Speaking about the filter, Bolsover councillor Steve Fritchley, said: “Firms like Microtech are our future.
“They are embracing technology to reduce and tackle a problem and that fits in with my vision to see Bolsover District at the forefront of the technological revolution.
“I will now be talking to my colleagues to see how we can work with them to embrace this technology and see if we can set up a pilot scheme that will help reduce pollution across Bolsover District and further afield.”
Pinxton parish councillor Mary Dooley said: “It’s about the danger you can’t see and we are so grateful to have Microtech here in Pinxton helping us deal with the problem.
“This is affecting people’s lives and if we can do something to help prevent it or reduce the pollutants in the air, then that has got to be a good thing.”