Left Menu
Development News Edition

Trees - a feasible option for cutting down air pollution around factories

Planting trees around landscapes near factories and other pollution sources, is found to cut down air pollution by 27 per cent, a more viable and cheaper option than using technology.

Trees - a feasible option for cutting down air pollution around factories
Representative Image. Image Credit: ANI

Planting trees around landscapes near factories and other pollution sources is found to cut down air pollution by 27 percent, a more viable and cheaper option than using technology. The study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology highlighted that it is the plants and not technologies for cleaning the air near a number of industrial sites, roadways, power plants, commercial boilers, and oil and gas drilling sites, that too in cheaper ways.

In fact, researchers found that in 75 percent of the counties analyzed, it was cheaper to use plants to mitigate air pollution than it was to add technological interventions - things like smokestack scrubbers - to the sources of pollution. "The fact is that traditionally, especially as engineers, we don't think about nature; we just focus on putting technology into everything," said lead author Bhavik Bakshi, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at The Ohio State University.

"And so, one key finding is that we need to start looking at nature and learning from it and respecting it. There are win-win opportunities if we do - opportunities that are potentially cheaper and better environmentally," added Bakshi. The analysis found that for one specific sector - industrial boilers - technology is cheaper at cleaning the air than ecosystem upgrades. And for the manufacturing industry - a broad sector - both ecosystems and technology could offer cost savings, depending on the type of factory.

To start understanding the effect that trees and other plants could have on air pollution, the researchers collected public data on air pollution and vegetation on a county-by-county basis across the lower 48 states. Then, they calculated what adding additional trees and plants might cost. Their calculations included the capacity of current vegetation - including trees, grasslands, and shrublands - to mitigate air pollution. They also considered the effect that restorative planting - bringing the vegetation cover of a given county to its county-average levels - might have on air pollution levels.

Researchers found that restoring vegetation reduced air pollution an average of 27 percent across the counties. This figure varies by county and region - consider, for example, a county in the desert of Nevada and a county in the farmlands of Ohio. Their research did not calculate the direct effects plants might have on ozone pollution, because, Bakshi said, the data on ozone emissions is lacking.

The analysis also didn't consider whether certain species of trees or plants would better "scrub" pollution from the air, though Bakshi said it is likely that the species of plant would make a difference in air quality. They found that adding trees or other plants could lower air pollution levels in both urban and rural areas, though the success rates varied depending on, among other factors, how much land was available to grow new plants and the current air quality.

"The thing that we are interested in is basically making sure that engineering contributes positively to sustainable development. And one big reason why engineering has not done that is because engineering has kept nature outside of its system boundary," Bakshi said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



JNU Administration's 100-meter challenge before JNUSU

For the first time in its history, Jawaharlal Nehru University JNU Administration is seeking permanent deployment of local police to keep protesting students at 100 meters away from the Administrative Block. It would be interesting to see h...

Sentiment Analysis of Twitter users during COP25: Governments losing trust on Climate Action

Sentiment analysis of Twitter users during COP25 in Madrid, being held from December 2-13, shows widespread fear on climate change due to global warming but almost no trust on governments in meeting the emission targets. In the analysis the...

These innovators are making humanitarian response more efficient

These alarming trends prompt a call for the world to not only address the ongoing crisis but also to adopt innovative approaches to fulfill the growing humanitarian needs in such emergencies. ...

Hyderabad Encounter: A sentiment analysis of public mood on day of encounter

Sentiment analysis of twitter users revealed that they showered salutes on Hyderabad police for eliminating alleged gang rapists of the veterinary doctor but only a few believe in cops version of successive events leading to encounter....


Latest News

Citizenship law, NRC can be enforced in Bengal only over my dead body: Mamata Banerjee

Daring the Centre to dismiss her government, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee vowed on Monday to not implement the citizenship law and the proposed NRC, which she said can only be enforced in West Bengal over her dead body. Banerjee, who led ...

Commission should be formed to look into Jamia violence: Cong leader Kapil Sibal

Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Kapil Sibal on Monday said a commission should be formed to look into the violence in Jamia Millia Islamia. Speaking to ANI, Sibal said From what I saw on social media, the people were being ...

E-commerce potential remains largely untapped in south Asia: World Bank

E-commerce can become a driver of growth across south Asia and boost trade between the regions countries but its potential remains largely untapped, according to a new World Bank report released on Monday. The report titled Unleashing E-Com...

Rugby-Wales coach Howley handed nine-month suspension following betting rules breach

Former Wales assistant coach Rob Howley has been banned from involvement in the game for 18 months, with nine months suspended, after breaching betting rules, the Welsh Rugby Union said on Monday. Former Wales international Howley was sent ...

Give Feedback