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Smog-Busting Drones to Clear Beijing Air March 14, 2014
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New design of unmanned vehicle will spray chemicals that freeze floating particles, allowing them to fall to ground.
Outbreaks of smog around Beijing have become so acute that officials are testing a new, more efficient type of drone to be used to spray smog-clearing chemicals, primarily around airports.

The South China Morning Post reports that drones equipped with parasails can carry about 1,500 pounds of the unspecified smog-busting compounds, which are said to have the capacity to cleanse the air in a 3-mile radius.

The vehicles will reportedly spray chemicals that “freeze pollutants,” causing them to fall to the ground.

But environmental advocates warn that such a process would simply coat the city’s surfaces with still-toxic pollutants.

They add that the government is tackling the symptom rather than the root cause of pollution.

China has tested aircraft and fixed-wing drones to spray smog-dispersant chemicals for several years, but found those delivery vehicles to be prohibitively expensive.