As climate change continues to accelerate, so does the migration of nomadic communities in Mongolia into the congested city of Ulaanbaatar. Many families are left with no choice but to live in mobile homes that are disconnected from the electrical grid. This prevents them from having access to clean air, heat and power, which poses many health hazards.
A team of students from the Ira. A Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University sought out a viable solution to help the community living in Ulaanbaatar. They designed a solar-powered air filtration system that autonomously cleans air qualities up to two times the normal amount. This will improve the health of community members as they regularly burn coal to release heat, which emits toxins from the coal combustion and infects their lungs.
An activated-carbon filter is used in the system because it is able to filter out particles that everyday filters cannot, which will significantly increase the quality of their air. Their system has already been designed and successfully tested by the team in 2021, and they have already sent one system to the community. They have begun deployment and hope to meet their goal of installing 24 systems within the community.
EPICS in IEEE has granted the project $10,000 to continue deploying these systems within the community of Ulaanbaatar. They are working with the Taiwan Fund for Families and Children, an NGO that supports vulnerable children and families. The team ultimately hopes to develop a local supply chain in Ulaanbaatar to help the 80,000 residents that reside in the district.