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50 molasses-spraying drones help to clear smog in Bangkok

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Air pollution is an unfortunate problem which affects many cities and regions in the modern world.

In Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, the problem recently got so bad that a fleet of planes and drones and sprayed water and molasses in an attempt to reduce dust and clear the air.

City authorities contacted a drone club in Bangkok to source the 50 drones which can each carry up to 10 litres of liquid on board. The drones sprayed in a 2.5 miles (4km) radius. According to scientists, the molasses (a viscous product that results from refining sugarcane), help to capture dust which then falls to the ground as a black droplet.

Poor air quality a serious problem in Thailand

According to the World Air Quality Index Project, central Bangkok is currently registering around 120 of fine air particulate matter per cubic meter of air. Between 0-50 parts of pollution is considered “good” and anything over 100 immediately poses risks to those with respiratory ailments such as asthma.

Bangkok is a densely populated, industrialized city with more than 8 million inhabitants. Recently, the air pollution was so severe (approaching 200 parts per cubic meter) that schools were cancelled and residents took to social media to complain of irritated eyes and even coughing up blood.

Bangkok’s Governor, Aswin Kwanmuang, has taken a number of recent measures to help clean the city including cloud seeding (a weather modification practice that involves dropping dry ice and an attempt to make cloud form and rain to fall). He admits that drones are not a long-term solution to the problem but said that every little bit helps.

Although it’s good to see that drones are making a positive difference in this instance, we hope polluted cities begin to reduce their reliance on burning fossil fuels to keep the air clean for everyone.

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