5 Solutions to Air Pollution Explained

Solutions to air pollution are; energy transition, sustainable technological innovation, waste reduction, commercial sustainability policies, and remediation technology usage.

It is important to note that these ‘solutions’ are different from air pollution control measures, which describe how to reduce (rather than solve) air pollution.

This article discusses solutions to air pollution, as follows;



1). Energy Transition (as one of the Solutions to Air Pollution)

A total shift or transition to clean energy resources and technologies, can help solve the problem of air pollution.

Note that the term ‘clean energy’ is used in place of ‘renewable energy‘ above. This is because not all renewable energy alternatives are clean.

For energy transition to be effective toward solving air pollution challenges, an absolute or complete transition is necessary.

This means that all unclean energy resources, technologies and ways to generate electricity, must be abandoned entirely and replaced with clean alternatives.

Obviously, such a thorough transition is not easy to achieve, given the complexity, high-demand, and rapid growth of the industrial sector.

Clean alternatives like solar and wind energy must be further developed and enhanced to improve their performance and enable them replace fossil fuels effectively for all functions and in all capacities.

The energy transition also needs to explore less-common energy sources and technologies like liquid hydrogen and fuel cells respectively [1].

An absolute energy transition like that which has been discussed so far, is one of the most effective potential solutions to air pollution, because it influences all aspects of the economy and society including transport, manufacturing, raw material extraction, and commerce.

Aside air pollution, energy transition can also go a long way in solving general environmental pollution, and other forms of degradation like climate change and global warming.

As a result, energy transition is a prominent topic with regards to sustainable development and circular economy discussions [4].

Solutions to Air Pollution: Energy Transition (Credit: Stephan Mosel 2004 .CC BY 2.0.)
Solutions to Air Pollution: Energy Transition (Credit: Stephan Mosel 2004 .CC BY 2.0.)


2). Sustainable Technological Innovation

Technology can be used both to reduce and to entirely solve air pollution problems.

However, to transit from existing conventional technology to such solutions, requires a significant level of innovation.

An example of technology that can be used to address air pollution is industrial gas scrubbing system (or ‘gas scrubber) that is used to treat flue gas from industrial outlets [2].

This technology is an active and direct-implementation tool that removes air pollutants from gas streams before they are allowed to enter the atmosphere.

Another prominent technological innovation that can aid in solving air pollution is catalytic conversion technology.

Catalytic converters are designed to prevent the formation of air pollutants by altering the trend of reactions that produce these substances [3].

As a result, toxins are converted to non-toxic materials that may then be released into the environment with no notable consequences.

On a broad scale, however, technological innovation for solving air pollution is linked to energy transition and other measures and concepts that aim to establish sustainability in the ecosystem.

These include artificial intelligence-driven energy systems, efficient technologies for energy storage, hybrid cars, battery-electric cars, energy management systems, efficient electricity distribution facilities, and sustainable power plants.


3). Waste Reduction (as one of the Solutions to Air Pollution)

Waste reduction can help solve air pollution problems.

It differs from waste recycling, which is a control measure, and not a potential solution to air pollution.

Waste reduction has to do with reducing the volume of waste that is produced in the first place.

It is achievable through a combined implementation of source-reduction and raw material substitution, both of which ensure that waste management considerations begin even before raw materials are extracted and products created.

Also; modernized, efficient waste management methods, equipment and policies can help mitigate air pollution from waste.

Waste reduction can be an effective solution to air pollution, since waste materials in landfills and other areas contribute significantly to atmospheric emissions on a yearly basis.


4). Commercial Sustainability Policies

Commercial sustainability policies can directly help to address the economic implications of air pollution.

The commercial sector needs such policies most because businesses are active and large-scale producers of air pollutants.

Aside the sole operations of businesses, the link between commerce and industry implies that businesses are an extension of industries, which are even larger producers of air pollutants.

Things businesses can do to reduce air pollution (which aid ultimately in solving the air pollution problem) include adherence to standards and guidelines on operation, with regards to the use of electric power, and the choices of energy resources, raw materials, and operational methods.

Policies that can reduce air pollution in commerce and industry include those aimed to place a measurable limit on atmospheric emissions, those that regulate material and method choices, and those which determine consumer behavior.


5). Remediation Technology Usage (as one of the Solutions to Air Pollution)

Air pollution problems can be solved by environmental remediation, using any of various techniques and equipment.

The use of remediation technology (or technological remediation) to solve air pollution is a direct-implementation and iterative approach, whose effectiveness generally depends on the level of advancement of technologies being used.

Remediation technology for restoring and preserving air quality can be viewed within various contexts, including decarbonization, gas scrubbing, catalysis and energy substitution.

Examples of such technologies are; catalytic and photocatalytic conversion, bioremediation-based technology, absorption and adsorption, carbon capture and removal, among others.

The remedial effect of these technologies can be preserved using others like green building and sustainable manufacturing, which are supportive techniques and practices.

Air pollution remediation technology may be designed for specialized removal of some pollutants (this is usually a more effective approach), or for more elaborate and broad-scope remedial purposes.




Solutions to air pollution are;

1. Energy Transition

2. Sustainable Technological Innovation

3. Waste Reduction

4. Commercial Sustainability Policies

5. Remediation Technology Usage




1). Dash, S. K.; Chakraborty, S.; Roccotelli, M.; Sahu, U. K. (2022). “Hydrogen Fuel for Future Mobility: Challenges and Future Aspects.” Sustainability 2022, 14(14), 8285. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3390/su14148285. (Accessed 1 December 2022).

2). Harry-Ngei, N.; Ubong, I. U.; Ede, P. (2019). “A Review of the Scrubber as a Tool for the Control of flue Gas Emissions in a Combustion System.” European Journal of Engineering Research and Science 4(11):1-4. Available at: https://doi.org/10.24018/ejers.2019.4.11.1561. (Accessed 1 December 2022).

3). St. G.; Cholakov, G. St. (2018). “Catalytic Converters and Other Emission Control Devices – Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems.” Pollution Control Technologies, The Encyclopedia of (pp.v. 3, pp. 218 – 239). Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329466376_CATALYTIC_CONVERTERS_AND_OTHER_EMISSION_CONTROL_DEVICES. (Accessed 1 December 2022).

4). Su, C.; Urban, F. (2021). “Circular economy for clean energy transitions: A new opportunity under the COVID-19 pandemic.” Applied Energy 289(7565):116666 Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2021.116666. (Accessed 1 December 2022).

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