Mitigating air pollution strategies based on solar chimneys

Yang Liu, Tingzhen Ming, Chong Peng, Yongjia Wu, Wei Li, Renaud De Richter, Nan Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During their rapid economic development and industrialization, megacities in the developing nations with high populations (especially in the east and south Asia) are plagued by severe air pollution problems (e.g., heavy haze), which impose a threat not only to public health but also to the sustainable development of society and the economy. To relieve the burden of air pollution for the general public, this article reviewed several geoengineering measures based on solar chimneys, which have the large-scale elimination ability on pollutants in the air, particularly for particulate matter. These geoengineering measures include driving the polluted air penetrate the planetary boundary layer into the troposphere to avoid the dramatic growth of concentrations of particulate matter, spraying water on the top of the solar chimney into the air to scavenge pollution, and intercepting fine particles in the air driven by the solar energy with large filters. Compared with traditional methods (e.g., giant spray trucks), those solar chimney geoengineering measures have the following advantages: 1) they can be operated 24 h a day, thus keeping the pollution removal function stable and continuous; 2) they are environment-friendly and can generate clean electricity to compensate for energy consumption; 3) they are also robust and operational with very low maintenance for a long period. Given the advantages of the solar chimney geoengineering measures and the economic and human health losses caused by air pollution, those geoengineering approaches deserve to be studied further and implemented in those countries that are suffering from heavy air pollution problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-27
JournalSolar Energy
Early online date5 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Solar chimney
  • Air pollution
  • Haze
  • Mitigation strategy


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