School shows way in fighting air pollution in Thailand

By YANG WANLI in Chiang Rai, Thailand | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-12-14 09:15
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Vulnerable groups

Tongsuk Riyakad, a teacher at Banpafae-nongor-sansaimoon School, demonstrates her students' works on smog during a class in November. YANG WANLI/CHINA DAILY

"Children are among the most vulnerable groups. We taught them to mark PM detector readings with five colors, namely blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. If the real-time monitoring index has a high reading, teachers will readjust school activities and the curriculum," she said, noting that physical education classes can be held in a closed hall.

In Banpafae-nongor-sansaimoon School, Nion demonstrated a notebook-sized box — the air quality monitor. "It's made in Thailand but the chip inside is from China," she added.

Last August, a group of Chinese scientists visited northern Thailand to assist with the haze problem, thanks to Sittikorn Chantadansuwan, minister-counselor at the Thai embassy in Beijing.

They came with high-tech purifiers designed by the Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. About the size of a small refrigerator, it can be operated both indoors and outdoors, with each one capable of treating 3,000 to 10,000 cubic meters of polluted air per hour.

"The purifier uses an electrostatic precipitator, or ESP, without a filter, which saves costs," said Sun Jing, a researcher from the Shanghai Institute of Ceramics. ESP is a device that uses an electrical charge to remove impurities from the air.

Compared with the traditional purifiers, Sun said this one has an efficiency of 90 percent. "For (particulate) matter with a diameter of 5 micrometers or lesser, the purifying efficiency can be even higher, up to 99 percent," Sun added.

She said the team has designed larger purifiers using the same principle, and they have proved to be effective in China.

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