A third-year English design student has—”quite simply”—attached a four-layer air purifier to a bicycle wheel, allowing cyclists to clean the air pollution in any city where they pedal.
Called Rolloe, the filter could purify more than a quarter million square-meters of air if merely 10% of London cyclists fitted it to their front wheel.
Armed with the basic understanding that pedaling a bicycle creates kinetic energy, all Tapping was required to do to make her dream a reality was find a way to channel dirty air in one side, and expel the clean air out of the other.
Existing filtration technology already use fans and turbines to force air through filters, similar to a bike wheel. After she had finished the final design she fitted a four-layer filter of activated carbon, washable HEPA, and luffa to clean small particulates as well as noxious gases like CO2, NO2, and ground OZONE.
With a basic yet eye-catching design, Rolloe is rolling out with all the infrastructure it needs to make replacing the filters sustainable.
“Through a pick up/mail in service, used filters are sent back to Rolloe for washing while clean filters are swapped in,” explains the designer on her website.
Rolloe won Kristen Tapping the 2020 Design Innovation in Plastics award, and it’s now being readied for a massive market launch in 2022. No word yet on how much it will cost.
She wants to reward people who cycle the most often with cleaning credits. A companion app would track cycling data, allow you to set goals, and keep track of your credits—and she hopes to convince local restaurants or shops to accept Rolloe credits as a form of rewards points.
Finally, the Rolleo can be made in bulk through simple injection molding and a 3D printer, while the filters will be recycled at the end of their lifespan: it seems like the perfect product for the ‘circular’ economy.