Chaing Mai University started to develop particle capture tower

 In Southeast Asia and Asia Pacific region, haze episode has become a seasonal occurrence during the dry season. Wildfire and biomass burning are the major causes which spans from southern China in the North and reaches Australia in the south. Southeast Asia, in particular, are affected strongly by the slash-and-burn agriculture. High level of smoke and PM2.5 can be seen throughout the region. These episode dramatically affect tourisms and local commerce because government strongly recommend citizen to stay indoor when PM2.5 is high.A personal mask is of course, the most cost effective solution. However, masks greatly limit the activities one can do outdoor and it is undoubtedly more comfortable to the people if they can carry on daily life without wearing one.

Due to the mentioned problems, the concept of clean-air tower or particle capture tower was coined, and it may be cost-effective and energy efficient in certain situation—if it is well designed. The research team at Chiang Mai University, led by Asst. Prof. Attakorn Asanakham and members of APPLY team at CMU—Asst. Prof. Arpiruk Hokpunna and Asst. Prof. Watchapon Rojanaratanangkule, received a 100,000 USD research grant from the National Research Council of Thailand to develop and evaluate efficiency of Particle Capture Tower. The project is running from 2021 – 2022. The commissioners from NRCT believed the CFD is a good tool to develop and validate the effectiveness of the tower because the main role of the tower is to deliver the clean air which can be prescribed as boundary condition. This decouples the air cleaning method from the delivery. This research should give an answer to the feasibility of the tower in term of engineering aspect, economy aspect as well as social and political aspect.


Figure 1: PM2.5 level near the tower


Figure 2: Validation of CFD against physical Experiment.

By Asst. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Arpiruk Hokpuna (Chiang Mai University)