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China Combats Air Pollution by Building World’s Largest Smog-Research Facility

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harbincopThe news about the thick and highly toxic smog that remained over large part of China for a week and put millions of lives in danger, have undoubtedly reached everyone.  An announcement made by the Chinese Academy of Sciences just a few days ago, however, might not have circulated the net as fast.

A major project worth $81 million has the aim to find the causes of persistent air pollution by testing and simulating various smog conditions in what is expected to be the biggest smog-research facility in the world.

This week, the Chinese capital, Beijing, will be the host of the annual meeting of the national legislature, where Chinese leaders will be discussing the country’s most pressing problems and challenges. It will be a huge surprise if the hazardous pollution levels over the northern part of China are not discussed. After all, the disaster was one of the most severe in history, with persisting levels of fine particulates in air eight times higher than these recommended by the WHO.

During the meeting, the governmental officials are expected to go over the various measures in order to reduce toxic emissions and handle air pollution. Among these is the plan to construct the biggest research facility, which will deal exclusively with air pollution and smog. The project is not yet approved by the National Development and Reform Commission, however it is highly unlikely that it will not be given a green light. In addition to this, governmental officials are expected to discuss other strategies to handle air pollution, including improving of the quality and at the same time reducing the use of coal.

Solar, wind and geothermal energy production are seen as the best alternative to the use of coal, alongside with a boost in the use of natural gas in the coming year.

Image (C) Reuters

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