Quantcast

Teen Innovator Targets Urban Air Pollution

Popular

When Angad Daryani was a child in Mumbai, he used to suffer from the air pollution there. "Growing up, I had asthma," he told CNN in a profile Wednesday. "I used to have a lot of breathing problems growing up in India."

Now, at the ripe old age of 19, he is working on an invention that could filter pollutants from the air of city skies and help other children breathe easier.


According to World Health Organization (WHO) data reported in The Huffington Post in 2016, air pollution kills 3 million people yearly, and 22 of the world's most polluted cities are in India. Further data from the WHO and the International Energy Agency (IEA), published in Business Insider in 2017, shows that India has the ninth most particulate matter in its air of any country in the world, and has the eighth most deaths from air pollution.

Daryani, an inventing prodigy who spent his teen years working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, told CNN that he was motivated to tackle air pollution after giving a public presentation alongside someone working on air filters. Excited, he'd approached his co-speaker after the event to talk about how the technology could be applied in India, but the other speaker brushed him off.

"That really upset me," Daryani told CNN, "so I said, 'OK, I'm going to take this up myself and solve this problem on my own.'"

Daryani closed the startups he'd begun in India to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology and develop his idea.

He told CNN he envisioned a 20 foot tower that would suck air from the city and filter it in a five-step process, removing both carcinogenic carbon particles and larger particulate matter that causes asthma. The device would then store the two kinds of pollutants in tanks that would need to be emptied once or twice a week.

Daryani said he thought that if his current model worked, he could deploy thousands in actual cities within five or six years.

"I want things like this (tower) to be implemented on a scale until the time developing countries like India, China and (countries in) Africa actually reach an all-electric method of transportation," Daryani told CNN.

"My eventual dream is to build companies that solve problems like this. That's what I tried to do before, and that's what I hope to do after school," he said.

His record indicates he is well on his way. Already, he has invented an impressive array of problem-solving devices, from an inexpensive EKG to an "eye-pad" that translates written French and English into Braille.

In the CNN article, he mentioned Elon Musk as an inspiration; in another ten or fifteen years, a young inventor will probably name-check Angad Daryani.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Logging state in the U.S. is seen representing some of the consequences humans will face in the absence of concrete action to stop deforestation, pollution and the climate crisis. Mark Newman / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images

Talk is cheap, says the acting executive secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, who begged governments around the world to make sure that 2020 is not another year of conferences and empty promises, but instead is the year to take decisive action to stop the mass extinction of wildlife and the destruction of habitat-sustaining ecosystems, as The Guardian reported.

Read More
The people of Kiribati have been under pressure to relocate due to sea level rise. A young woman wades through the salty sea water that flooded her way home on Sept. 29, 2015. Jonas Gratzer / LightRocket via Getty Images

Refugees fleeing the impending effects of the climate crisis cannot be forced to return home, according to a new decision by the United Nations Human Rights Committee, as CNN reported. The new decision could open up a massive wave of legal claims by displaced people around the world.

Read More
Sponsored
The first day of the Strike WEF march on Davos on Jan. 18, 2020 near Davos, Switzerland. The activists want climate justice and think the WEF is for the world's richest and political elite only. Kristian Buus / In Pictures via Getty Images

By Ashutosh Pandey

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg is returning to the Swiss ski resort of Davos for the 2020 World Economic Forum with a strong and clear message: put an end to the fossil fuel "madness."

Read More
Protesters attend a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court held by the group Our Children's Trust Oct. 29, 2018 in Washington, DC. The group and the plaintiffs have vowed to keep fighting and to ask the full Ninth Circuit to review Friday's decision to toss the lawsuit. Win McNamee / Getty Images

An appeals court tossed out the landmark youth climate lawsuit Juliana v. United States Friday, arguing that the courts are not the place to resolve the climate crisis.

Read More
The land around Red Knoll near Kanab, UT that could have been razed for a frac sand mine. Tara Lohan

By Tara Lohan

A sign at the north end of Kanab, Utah, proclaims the town of 4,300 to be "The Greatest Earth on Show."

Read More