According to RÚV, engineer and inventor Skúli Barker has designed an affordable solution to indoors sulfur dioxide (SO2) pollution: a device composed of a cheap, standard vacuum cleaner, a water-filled tube and his own bubble-splitting element.
The vacuum cleaner draws air through a tunnel of water, equipped with Skúli’s splitter. The splitter splits large bubbles of air into smaller bubbles, ensuring greater contact between air and water.
As the eruption in Holuhraun continues, atmospheric sulfur dioxide levels in the country fluctuate between safe and potentially harmful, depending on wind direction and other factors. “If pollution reaches dangerous levels, and people get stuck indoors, I wanted to make something that could be used to clean the air indoors, something more powerful than what has been available, without it costing a fortune,” said Skúli, interviewed by RÚV.
According to Skúli’s own measurements, the device has managed to rid air of up to 98% of its SO2 levels. Air containing 500 micrograms of SO2 per cubic meter (µg/m3) entered the device, and was exhausted at 10 µg/m3.
Skúli adds that water-filtering vacuum cleaners have proven useful, used in a similar manner, but that the best known brands of those remain too expensive for most people. “I wanted to attempt a much more affordable solution,” he said.
The ongoing series of eruptions in Holuhraun started on August 29.