Thomas Delgado: inventor of the Pollution Solution
PUBLISHED: 15:52 04 February 2020
We caught up with Herford’s very own Thomas Delgado, who has invented a genius device to combat the ever-increasing issue of harmful vehicle fumes in our environment
You've invented a device to filter exhaust fumes on the road, how does it work?
The Pollution Solution system looks a bit like cat's eyes in the road; we call them pods. The pods are connected to underground pipework that leads to an air station at the side of the road. It houses a powerful fan and specialist air filters. When vehicles are stationary or in slow moving traffic, the system turns on and begins pulling in the dirty air above, cleans it to a rate of 99 per cent and then pushes clean air back on to the pavement.
Where did you get the idea?
My eureka moment came when I was walking through Hertford town one day and I saw cars sat at traffic lights. I noticed that the exhaust fumes left the vehicles, dwelled for a period of time along the roadway and then lifted up in to the air. It was at this point that I thought surely we can just suck the fumes into the road with a vacuum. That was over four years ago and a lot of development has happened since. The project has been kept under complete secrecy until our launch in December 2018. We have been blown away at the level of interest since.
Why is this important?
Around 40,000 people a year die in the UK alone as a result of air pollution, that's enough people to fill The 02 arena twice. Asthma, lung and heart disease, dementia and various other fatal illnesses have all been associated with vehicle emissions, costing the NHS a staggering £20bn per year. Although we are moving to electric cars, this will not happen overnight and people will continue to die in the meanwhile. Pollution Solution is the interim solution to start improving air quality now, on a worldwide scale.
How is the invention being received?
Since the launch we have been inundated to say the least. We are exceeding the progress we were expecting to make and have had international enquiries from the USA, Hong Kong, China, and we were even on the Vietnam news.
Have you always been an inventor?
From a very young age I was creating things, inventing little gadgets and generally having ideas about how things can be improved. My adult career has been more focused on businesses that I have founded and run. I'm fortunate enough to have combined both my inventive and commercial skills with Pollution Solution.
Where do you hope to go with Pollution Solution?
Our next steps will be to have Pollution Solution installed outside schools and at the worst affected junctions around the UK. It may be that the international parties we are talking with will install the system sooner, but we hope that the UK will be first as it was created here.