Smog-fighting invention patented by researchers from AGH UST

The device – shockwave generator and a mobile smog measurement station; 25 November 2019. Photo by professor Marcin Stobiński

An innovative method of reducing particulate matter concentration levels in the atmosphere by means of a shockwave generator has emerged as a game-changing brainchild of a team of researchers from the Faculty of Energy and Fuels.

The team of creators behind the technology and the authors of the patent application called “A method of reduction of PM concentration in the smog layer constituting an inversion layer” includes: professor Jacek Leszczyński, professor Barbara Kubica, professor Wojciech Suwała, professor Marcin Stobiński, professor Katarzyna Szarłowicz, DSc Janusz Zyśk, MSc Filip Jędrzejek, MSc Dominik Gryboś and Maciej Borek – student/degree candidate (field of study: Power engineering). The application has been registered with the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland on 11 August 2020 (registration number P..43493).

The new invention makes use of shockwaves which are created by explosions of a mixture of flammable gases and air. The shockwaves destroy the structure of the temperature inversion layer in the atmosphere, which produces vertical movements within the atmosphere that cause a reduction in air pollution.

Short film – a single explosion » (by MSc Filip Jędrzejek)

The shockwave generator is a mobile device so it can be freely moved. What is more, this new technology comes with a mobile system for pollution monitoring, including a drone-mounted contamination detection system as well as an operational algorithm determining the number and force of generated shockwaves. 

Preliminary effects indicate an average 20% reduction in PM10 concentration in the smog layer at altitudes of up to 100 (vertical measurements taken every 1m) from the axis of shockwave generation, with the device operating in 11-minute series consisting of 110 explosions.

The creators of the invention are deeply convinced as to the effectiveness of the technology for on-demand improvement in the quality of air polluted with particulate matter and other harmful substances:

The implementation of our invention may obviously contribute to the improvement in the quality of air in our city as well as in neighbouring municipalities, which is of particular importance now that we are facing increasing health risks resulting from the spread of SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus known to affect human respiratory system. Our current actions are aimed at obtaining funds needed for the practical application of the proposed technology in many locations across the city and the adjacent municipalities.