We already know that cycling is much better for the air quality than driving a car. But imagine a bicycle that would not only be carbon neutral but could also purify the air around us!
Kristen Tapping, a design student at London South Bank University, has designed GoRolloe, a bicycle wheel with pollution filters that uses movement to purify the air.
GoRolloe does not require additional energy to operate as it uses the kinetic energy of moving vehicles. Compared to other outdoor air purification devices, it captures polluted air directly at the source, allowing for greater efficiency and impact.
The device has three parts – a tri-wheel and two circles that hold together washable and circular air filters. As the bicycle wheel rotates, GoRolloe recreates a centrifugal fan that sucks polluted air into the center of the taurus, passes it through a set of filters, and expels cleaner air into the environment.
There are three filters in GoRolloe:
- Glass wool, which prevents the largest particulates and rain from reaching finer filters.
- A HEPA filter that helps remove particulate matter (<PM1) small enough to pass through the throat and nose and enter the lungs.
- An activated carbon filter that traps noxious gases and CO2.
But wait, there’s more! Instead of relying on single-use filters, those GoRolloe uses can be cleaned and reused. Heck, even the captured pollutants can be reused for third-party products such as construction materials.
Now you may be thinking that GoRolloe will make a bike too heavy? Wrong again, with its parts adding the minimum extra weight to the whole bike. Moreover, they are also easy to assemble or disassemble and recycle at the end of their lifecycle. The final product will be built from recycled plastic materials via injection molding.
And of course, “there’s an app for that,” which would track performance, issue rewards, and alert consumers of when their next filter change needs to be made.
Unsurprisingly, GoRolloe has helped Tapping win the Design Innovation in Polymer 2020 award. The product is set to be commercially available in 2022 when it will be initially pitched to bicycle fleets in cities.
GoRolloe is easy to operate and does not require additional energy as it uses the kinetic energy of moving vehicles. Compared to other outdoor air purification devices, it captures polluted air directly at the source, allowing for greater efficiency and impact. Users and bike fleet operators will be able to track that impact via the companion mobile app and, presumingly, a dashboard of sorts (for bike fleet operators).
Make a contact and stand in line. If you work in a bike-friendly municipality, you'll want to be among the first ones to get these eco-wheels. They will not only make the air in your city/town better but will also send a clear message to your constituents - that you care about the air they breathe and consequently, about their health. Also, such a move will make your area look cooler in the eyes of top talent who may decide to relocate to a home near you. If that's not a win, I don't know what it is.
Make a contact and stand in line to be among GoRolloe's first sellers/distributors in the areas your company "covers." Of course, these should be bike-friendly municipalities that will know to appreciate a bike that improves the air quality. You could also pitch local officials on other, less-tangible benefits such pollution-fighting wheels bring to their city/town - like, how tech-savvy they will look to the rest of the world, which could further lead to additional benefits. Like top talent moving to their area. That feat alone is worth a ton!