The Bulletin

This 'photosynthesis bike' cleans the air as you ride

Posting in Technology


 Bicycle transportation is already one of the cleanest forms of transportation there is -- for the environment, not necessarily your clothes after a slushy winter ride -- but a new bike concept could not only limit urban pollution, it could eliminate it.

The Air-Purifying Bike is a concept, developed by designers at the Bangkok-based Lightfog Creative & Design Company, that uses an air filter to clean the air around a cyclist. The filter sits between the bike's handlebars and uses a "photosynthesis system" to generate oxygen with a water tank and battery-powered electric motor. But the bike doesn't just clean the air while you ride, it can also work while it's parked.

To be clear, this concept is just that, an idea. The design is sleek and the idea is an innovative one, but it currently only exists in two-dimensions. The messy details are yet to be worked out. How will the battery be charged? How long will it last? Will the amount of clean air justify the added cost of the attached "photosynthesis system"? The hardest part is yet to come if this bike is ever to reach the streets. But according to Fast Company, Lightfog does plan to build a prototype. 

Still, the design has already won an award and looks infinitely more pleasant to ride (and more safe) than another clean-air producing bike we saw earlier this year.

And if this concept is ever fully developed, imagine bikeshare systems utilizing these bikes, like a two-wheeled cavalry, in the fight against smog. 

Photo: Red Dot

— By on December 11, 2013, 9:27 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure