Bangkok designers draw attention for air-purifying bike idea

Dec 12, 2013 by Nancy Owano weblog

( —Some observers are calling it "the photosynthesis bike." The bike of interest is only a concept, not even a prototype yet, from designers in Bangkok. Nonetheless, in concept alone, it has captured a lot if imaginations, press coverage, and even picked up an award in the 2013 Red Dot competition for design concept. Dubbed "Air Purifier Bike," from Bangkok-based Lightfog Creative and Design, the bicycle presents a next-level functionality to bicycles as environmentally sound vehicles—to the point where the rider not only uses a clean mode of transport but also helps to purify the air along with the ride. (The Red Dot Award for design concept is part of a professional design competition for design concepts and prototypes worldwide.)

Silawat Virakul, Torsakul Kosaikul, and Suvaroj Poosrivongvanid are the designers behind the award-winning idea. They said their Air-Purifier Bike incorporates an filter that screens dust and pollutants from the air, a photosynthesis system (including a water tank) that produces oxygen, an electric motor, and a battery. "While it is being ridden, air passes through the filter at the front of the bike, where it is cleaned before being released toward cyclist. The bike frame houses the photosynthesis system. When the bike is parked, the air-purifying functions can continue under battery power."

According to a report on the and the designers behind it on the Fast Company Co.Exist site, the designers presently have mock-ups, but they have not yet built a prototype; they plan to build one soon.

"We want to design products which can reduce the air pollution in the city. So we decided to a bike because we thought that bicycles are environmentally friendly vehicles for transportation," said creative director Silawat Virakul in an email to Co.Exist.

"Riding a bicycle can reduce traffic jam[s] in a city," said Virakul. "Moreover, we wanted to add more value to a bicycle by adding its ability to reduce the pollution."

If they were to advance their concept, they would be responding to many urban dwellers who are growing increasingly aware that bicycles ease pollution and are taking to bicycles for short-distance transportation. Earlier this year, Lucintel, a consulting and market research firm, analyzed the global bicycle industry in "Global Bicycle Industry 2013-2018: Trends, Profit, and Forecast Analysis." They noted that government initiatives to promote cycling to reduce carbon emissions and noise pollution are a strong growth driver. In addition, bicycles' energy efficiency, coupled with cycling as a fitness activity, will help propel demand during the forecast period.

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More information:… e=923&y=2013&c=5&a=1… -photosynthesis-bike

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2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 12, 2013
It all begins with imagination under due consideration of freedom of thought but, not clouded by dogma - whether religious, commercial, psychological or scientific...

Having informally studied comparative religion for 30 odd years discovering essential truths not related to any deity (they are all made by men & are impotent communicators of which their progenitors make fully untestable claims) I am now applying these truths to other disciplines.

Engineering & peer reviewed/published scientific research are the first.

I am disappointed to find the same propensity to dogma, negativity & plain bad narrow thinking of which many also make untestable claims & it seems purely to aggrandize their ego & raise their self esteem.

Could see quirky aspects in this bike concept so rather than simplistic criticism which unfortunately often occurs, I would like to see instead speculation of a more enlightened nature which can progress positive change & if possible peppered with technical input :-)
1 / 5 (3) Dec 12, 2013
This bike will not be an easy ride.

With all the added weight: water, battery, filters, photosynthetic equipment, there is a lot of stuff to move around. As you pedal, you are also required to supply energy to power the photosynthesis system. Some of this may be provided by ambient light though.
Good for flat towns like Amsterdam maybe.

Pedalling for most riders would need the battery assist I should think. So, the battery would have to be bigger (heavier) to supply this extra energy.
If a generator were included in the design, then pedalling is really going to be tough.
It makes me tired just thinking about it.
1 / 5 (6) Dec 12, 2013

CO2 isn't pollution, regardless of what algore said.
5 / 5 (3) Dec 12, 2013
Cool! You try to clean air with you bike while others with cars are polluting it. Sounds fair.
1 / 5 (4) Dec 12, 2013
Filter after filter after filter... millions of filters... produce them... the circle is back there.
2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 12, 2013
Shootist obviously doesn't understand basic chemistry or issues of dosage with this narrow dumb claim
Editors: CO2 isn't pollution, regardless of what algore said.
Please get a grip Shootist. Eg

- Too much oxygen is a pollutant, it creates biochemical problems
- Too much nitrogen is a pollutant as it displaces oxygen
- Too much CO2 is a pollutant as it traps heat & affects biochemistry
- Too much water is a pollutant as you either drown or it swells your brain.

Shootist *please* don't pretend to be either stupid, un-intelligent or ignorant, please project a basic education in philosophy, chemistry & relative issues of dosage, such as with review of this link -*and* offer any sort of reasoned rebuttal in respect of the (useful) paradigm offered here:-


Health comes first with a close second being communications,
& both under (dynamic) of ever present education.

Does Shootist understand, even a little ?
2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 13, 2013
This contraption would add to the weight and complexity of bicycles, and might not even reduce pollution much if you factor in the pollution involved in manufacturing the contraption, the batteries, and the filters.

If you make a bicycle heavier and more expensive, fewer people will use bicycles. Since bicycles are less polluting than cars, ceterus parabus, we don't want to do anything that would discourage people from using a bicycle instead of a car.
5 / 5 (3) Dec 13, 2013
CO2 isn't pollution, regardless of what algore said.

Wasn't mentioned in the article. But, as you've mentioned it, you don't seem to be well versed in the effects of CO₂, I'd suggest you to set yourself up with a respirator and a cylinder of CO₂ for a couple hours or so. Then by all means report back so we can discuss the benefits of CO₂.
1.4 / 5 (5) Dec 14, 2013
This bike is just added proof that the green movement is a Religion and not based on science.
3 / 5 (2) Dec 14, 2013
MR166 obviously has huge problems with logic by this blunder
This bike is just added proof that the green movement is a Religion and not based on science.
You need to read the article but, understand it.

This is concept, it is not a device, it therefore cannot be proof of:-

- any relation to a green movement - if you are able to clarify?
- a Religion, as there is no deity or dogma - unless you are able to clearly?

Your ambit claim it's not based on science is irrelevant. Please try to understand your ill considered red-neck blurt is not helpful, try to appreciate that Science = "The disciplined acquisition of knowledge".

In that respect your vain utterance MR166 is completely unscientific, claims a proof that isn't & representation of an unstated implied dogma lacking in precision or discipline.

MR166 you come across as cheap undisciplined propagandist & lazy observations not connectable with anything useful.

Its obvious you need an education MR166, Humanities & Science.
1 / 5 (3) Dec 14, 2013
If you have ever ridden a bike on the street you would know that lighter is better. This concept is about as useful as and appendix transplant. It has more useless bells and whistles than Pee Wee Herman's.
1 / 5 (4) Dec 14, 2013
"- any relation to a green movement - if you are able to clarify?
- a Religion, as there is no deity or dogma - unless you are able to clearly?"

Let me get this straight, you claim that there is no dogma in the AGW movement.

Keep drinking that Cool-Aid and remain one of the illuminated.
1 / 5 (1) Dec 14, 2013
MR166 incorrectly assumes weight data has been specified with
If you have ever ridden a bike on the street you would know that lighter is better
Obvious, of course !
Where is the weight data specified in this concept so you can argue against it & thus appear to waste everyone's time ?

Dogma has; rules, format & patterns, what is essence of your claimed dogma of AGW ?

Lets start with something well known in Science to make it clear & simple for you:-

- CO2 has well understood thermal properties

Combine this with:-

- Known sizable CO2 emissions for over a hundred years
- CO2 emissions on the increase
- Earth's climate system favours thermal equilibrium as an essentially closed system
- Insolation is relatively stable albeit with recent minor pause

Show a rational position presumption as to why warming is false.

Can you converge on dialectic or are you only full of blurts & propaganda ?

Are you not able to be efficient with one comment at a time to cover more than one issue?
Dec 15, 2013
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
1 / 5 (3) Dec 15, 2013
Another way of cleaning the air is to power cars with hydrogen.
1 / 5 (1) Dec 15, 2013
ryggesogn2 offered mere propaganda with this staggeringly un-researched assumption
Another way of cleaning the air is to power cars with hydrogen.
There is still no known way of producing H2 *and* being able to use it effectively which doesn't produce more CO2 & other pollutants than using petrol or gas directly.

Please apprise yourself ryggesogn2 of a full & complete end to end thermodynamic analysis, you will discover you have been seriously misled !

Even if H2 were free it would still be too expensive to use in any transport application.

Given expense is equivalent to energy (posted on placards & signs all over many cities) & energy is related to pollution generated then its imperative, that using H2 in a transport application will produce more pollution than using petrol directly.

The alternative is to use H2 & reducing capital reserves, not something any energy producer will ever do, go do (oil-gas) chemical engineering or in your case get advice from Exxon etc...
not rated yet Dec 15, 2013
I'm curious about the carbon deficit and ecological impact in creating/disposing of the air filter, battery, bike components, etc. compared to it's cleaning potential. I'm no expert, but I suspect it would need to be pretty efficient to make sense.

I could see a city buying a bunch of these then letting people ride them for free, assuming everything adds up.
1 / 5 (1) Dec 15, 2013
Even if H2 were free it would still be too expensive to use in any transport application.

I said hydrogen combustion engines would help to clean the air in polluted cities like LA, Bangkok or...
When does anyone on physorg ever really care about economics and being practical?
1 / 5 (3) Dec 15, 2013
"I could see a city buying a bunch of these then letting people ride them for free, assuming everything adds up."

Good God!!!!!!

Could the people that read really be that ignorant??????????????

As I said before, AGW believers are all part of one great religious cult.
5 / 5 (1) Dec 16, 2013
I would like to see gardens growing on automobiles and trucks. They could filter the exhaust and grow tasty fruits for the city dwellers. Also fewer trips would be needed to the supermarket because you can always eat your car and grow a new model
not rated yet Dec 16, 2013
Since this is an ~electric~ bicycle concept (check the illustrations with the article ) the added weight of a few batteries is irrelevant. What will kill the idea is that the CO2 to O2 conversion rate might well be too low to bother with.
Better to install living walls and roofs, etc, I'd say.
1 / 5 (2) Dec 19, 2013
I've known people, many people who treat the environment as an ultimate value. Those people, in my opinion, are indeed participating in a religion in a very real sense. Since it's an ultimate value it warps every other value they have back to said value.

Ever try to talk to a very religious person without discussing religion at some point? It's the same with environmentalists or even a scientist. Anyone with a value system that contains "ultimates" or absolutes creates an unbalanced view of reality and consequently are very difficult to converse with and is nearly impossible to reason with. They begin to identify with said values as a part of their personality and any threat to the value is a threat to the ego.

I believe it's why we really need to change the way we converse with each other in general, and why the world is becoming so damned polarized. There's nothing "wrong" with this concept (bike). If you don't like it then don't like it. It's not a threat to you personally...
5 / 5 (1) Dec 20, 2013
MR166 just doesnt understand the nature of belief systems per se' & indeed doesn't understand essentials of Science with this propaganda
As I said before, AGW believers are all part of one great religious cult.
Its not about polarised belief as Modernmystic alluded to.

Belief is based on arbitrary non causal faith not on probability.
Science, at its most integral, must accept probability & decisions/recommendations based on balance of probabilities.

So MR166, what is the dogma you claim AGW believers base their faith upon ?

Modernmystic however, seemed to push a negative bias with
It's the same with environmentalists or even a scientist.
I say to you also Modernmystic, please get a grip on what the true essentials of Science are, you suggest its dogmatic when its the people which are sometimes dogmatic not the discipline.

Religion has no discipline.
Environmentalism may rely on a discipline from Science but can be exaggerated.
Science however, is a true discipline.
1 / 5 (2) Dec 20, 2013
Modernmystic however, seemed to push a negative bias with

Well, negative is your word not mine. I don't think it's "wrong" to allow a particular value to warp your sense of reality. I just don't think it's helpful in many ways, most especially with respect to communicaiton. Immature or "young" might be a better way to parse how I view it.

Religion has no discipline.

Huh? You and I either haven't been looking at the same religions or are thinking of different definitions of discipline. Most likely the latter.

Environmentalism may rely on a discipline from Science but can be exaggerated.

Agreed, I think. However the cause of the problem with environmentalism isn't necessarily exaggeration...that's just a symptom. The problem is that people place too much value on a fictive system created by humans and are treating it as if it were objective reality or worse a part of their personality.

1 / 5 (3) Dec 20, 2013
Science however, is a true discipline.

Science is another fictive system created by humans. It is highly likely we'll come up with an even better system at some point than science, however it will most certainly resemble modern science more than it does any other human fiction. It tries to square up with objective reality, but it really can't hence it can't be a "true" discipline or a "true" anything else. You just don't have to heap on the salt like you do with most other fictive systems human beings create in order to get along with each other and the world.

It's important, very important to recognize that science isn't a "thing". It exists only in the minds of humans and it doesn't look the same in any two minds. It is no more "real" than any religion out there, but it allows us to deal with the world much, MUCH more effectively. The difference is so great it really can't be overemphasized. However, it isn't truth and that can't be overemphasized either...
1 / 5 (1) Dec 21, 2013
By golly, fictive IS a word -!

But the rest of your post is nonsense. For instance what does THIS mean?
science isn't a "thing". It exists only in the minds of humans
-??? I think feynman put your sort of maundering in the proper light:

-Science is the objective analysis of evidence.
It's important, very important to recognize that
philobabble is unimportant, very unimportant. Useless, as it were. Quite.
5 / 5 (1) Dec 22, 2013
Modernmystic blurted a response to my observation "Religion has no discipline" with
Huh? You and I either haven't been looking at the same religions or are thinking of different definitions of discipline.
Waste of a comment opportunity, instead of spouting arbitrary opinion, offer indication where there is a particular discipline in any religion, example ?

Whereas Science follows a pattern which should be well known to all taking the trouble to post on this site:-

4. Goto 1

In each of the above invite others; share Observation, craft Hypotheses, design Experiment - with a core of provable mathematics.

You guess Science is fictive Modernmystic.

The rather definitive fact Science has given us all technological advance (not religion) from the simplest to the most complex, which is fully demonstrative, then you must therefore be a borderline schizophrenic - reality vs fiction on a mere whim !

Do you prefer arbitrary fiction, is that sane?
1 / 5 (2) Dec 23, 2013
Nice strawmen you all are knocking down. It makes me almost sure I'm wasting my proverbial breath with a reply but here goes.

The rather definitive fact Science has given us all technological advance

No it hasn't given us ALL technological advance, but I'd wager it has been responsible for about 99.9999% ish. The METHOD has been responsible for that, The philosophy that is science. That is what I'm talking about, NOT the products of science. You're going to have to learn to make the distinction if you're going to understand my point.

then you must therefore be a borderline schizophrenic - reality vs fiction on a mere whim !

Indeed it's YOU who are the schizophrenic, interchanging a philosophical method with it's products and results. One is fiction which humans have invented whole cloth and use to investigate (quite successfully) the world, and the the rest are its products. Some of which is theory, some of which is objective fact (cont).

1 / 5 (2) Dec 23, 2013
(cont.) ALL of which is more substantive toward objective reality than religion is. However science can't give you inner peace. It can't give you a good relationship with your son, wife, daughter, or anyone else. It can't give you anything in the world that actually matters. It can give you externals, pleasure, and comfort...all of which are fleeting and arbitrary. It has it's place as a TOOL of mankind. It's not an end unto itself, it's a means to obtain the meaner ends of life. When you have all science and no philosophy in the cart you end up in a world of trouble...I'd give you examples but if you don't know enough about history to think of a few on your own then I AM wasting my breath.

FYI I don't think religion gives inner peace either, I think it gives a hell of a lot of inner strife actually (I can talk about that one for pages). That doesn't mean that there aren't human truisms and wisdom to be gleaned from religious texts. I just want to make that point clear.
1 / 5 (2) Dec 23, 2013
Otto, as to Feynman and his third grade analysis of what is real....

Well you or I can only identify what is real via electrical signals interpreted by an organ which we've proved, with that old chestnut science, is highly unreliable in its perceptions. Moreover since we can't even perceive reality in any broad sense I think it's the height of hubris to pretend that our "objective" analysis of "evidence" is nothing more than a purely subjective estimation of perception via a very limited biochemical machine.

Try all you want to take the subjectivity out of a human system, but you've got one hell of a "battle" ahead of you. Humans are completely mired in subjectivity. We eat it, drink it, breathe it, we compare everything that comes in against another subjective ghost image of something else that came in at some earlier time which may or may not be accurate and certainly isn't the same as it is for someone else.

We aren't robots Otto...not yet...

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