Dr. Buryl Payne

600 Park Ave., Apt. 4D
Capitola, CA 95010


The Air Scoop: A proposal for Cleaning the Air


In cities, particles stirred up in the air near the ground are now believed to be more harmful to people than gases emitted by car exhaust systems. These particles consist of microscopic bits of tire, carbon ash, paper, concrete dust, and general debris which is continuously roused by wind produced by passing automobiles. These particles remain in suspension from minutes to hours, even when the air movement simmers down at night. It is these particles that irritate the lungs as much, or more, than nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, and other gases emitted by car engines, because those gases are dispersed by wind.

The present system of controlling emissions, or changing to electric cars will not solve this problem. However, if each car could clean the air dirtied from the car ahead of it, then different possibilities emerge.

A Remedial Solution:

According to an idea I conceived in 1992, each car could be equipped with a simple air filter mounted anywhere on the car. The filters would require no moving parts, dependent only on the movement of the car through the air to provide mechanical filtering.

For example, suppose each car has an Air Scoop with a 6"X6" opening. This opening could be of any shape. If the Air Scoop were mounted underneath the car, it might be 12"X3" or any similar size to provide a streamlined contour that would not interfere with road clearance.

An electrostatic grid could eventually be added to the Air Scoop to increase the filtering efficiency.

In cities with dirty air, the filter, which could be made of recycled paper, would probably have to be changed with every gasoline fill up and a simple mechanism for changing the filter would have to be designed.

Assuming an average speed of 30mph, One car on the road for ten hours a day would process about .4 million cubic feet of air. An area of one square mile, ten feet high is approximately 280 million cubic feet. Therefore, 1,000 cars driving continuously for ten hours would filter the air in 400 billion cubic feet.

With the continuous use of Air Scoops, the air would eventually become clean and clear, rather than smoggy and noxious, as it is today.

To be effective, this filter would have to be used by practically everyone; public awareness and education programs would have to be skillfully devised. The present climate of environmental awareness would help such a device 'catch on', and eventually, it would probably become standard equipment on all vehicles.

The cost, juxtaposed to the benefits, would be minimal. Of course, there would be a slight cost associated with decreased mileage due to the air resistance of the of the filter, but this would be insignificant compared to the health benefits of clean, breathable air. The retail price of an Air Scoop might be around $50. Filter replacements would be standardized and available at any gas station.

Since so much time is currently spent moving slowly or not at all in heavy traffic, the AIR Scoops would probably best be equipped with a small suction fan that might come on automatically when the speed of the vehicle dropped below 15 miles per hour.

Eventually the Air Scoop could be made so as to remove fine particles, or even transform carbon dioxide into oxygen and carbon.

Many boats could also be equipped with scoops which may help keep the water clean, especially big city harbors. This could be either a separate system or combined with the water intake cooling system. Only the addition of a removable filter would be different to allow for particles to be removed permanently from the water.

The manufacture of Air Scoops could begin in Santa Cruz, and would expand to a worldwide market in a short amount of time. Many cities outside of the United States have much dirtier air and would benefit in proportion.

Loans for beginning the manufacture of Air Scoops, and for educational public campaigns might be readily available as this is a much needed product

Persons who would like to work on this project please call Dr. Buryl Payne (831) 475-4250



Buryl Payne,, buryl@buryl.most common domain name