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Generating power while cleaning the air

31 March 2017

Technology start-up company Capture Mobility has developed a roadside micro wind turbine which not only generates electricity from the turbulence of passing traffic, but also filters carbon from the atmosphere, reducing air pollution.

Generating power while cleaning the air

The company has run trials with Transport Scotland and now plans are underway to use the turbines on the Forth Road Bridge, delivering sustainable energy for the bridge’s lighting.

Based at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, Capture Mobility’s award-winning turbine is the brainchild of founder Sanwal Muneer, who was inspired to harvest waste turbulence energy from traffic while taking part in the Shell Eco-marathon, which challenges young engineers to design, build and race energy-efficient vehicles.

The company contacted Interface, who matched them to the School of Engineering at the University of Aberdeen in a project funded by an SFC Innovation Voucher to help improve the efficiency and carbon filtration of the turbine.

Sanwal said: “The level of guidance and support from the University of Aberdeen was outstanding. Their expertise helped us to look into the feasible ways to capture the carbon particles. We hope to work with the university again to develop tangible results in lab testing for the carbon capturing project.”

Dr Waheed Afzal, from the University of Aberdeen, said: “The Innovation Voucher is an excellent scheme that promotes entrepreneurship and links academics with SMEs to create rapid industrial impact. The project was very exciting to work on and we are really looking forward to taking our collaboration to the next level.”

Capture Mobility is in discussions with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Forestry Commission Scotland to explore the potential for installing turbines in remote locations, providing unobtrusive mobile phone charging stations and electric car charging points.

The turbines have already attracted interest from overseas markets, including France, China, Brazil and Chile.