BIG Vortex - A Building-Site Art Installation

The new Amagerforbrænding Waste-to-Energy plant is an innovative model in the fields of waste management and energy production. It will be complete in 2016, just three kilometres from downtown Copenhagen. It will be the single largest facility of its kind in Denmark, costing 500 million Euros.

This remarkable plant seeks to change the way waste management and energy production is understood.
Rather than hiding drab industrial processes, the plant hopes to re-connect the Danes to the issues behind waste management. The architectural concept by the Danish firm BIG, will convert the plant into an artificial landscape, drawing the people of Copenhagen in. The public roof of the new Amagerforbraending will be a 31.000 m2 park, and include a snow slope for skiers of all levels.

The Berliner artists group realities:united have designed an elegant exhaust system for the plant. It transforms the smoke emitted into a symbol of the path our waste follows into the atmosphere. Instead of a steady stream of exhaust, the plant emits one giant smoke ring for each quarter ton of CO2 it produces. The rings are 25 m in diameter, and 5 meters high. As they slowly rise and cool, the water within the gas clouds condenses to revealing each ring shortly after it floats away from the plant.

Fascinating Physics
realities:united designed a simple mechanism to create these rings. An elastic cylinder on the roof expands to store the plant's exhaust. When exactly a quarter ton of CO2 has filled the drum, a shutter opens, and the drum suddenly contracts, expelling the gas into the sky. While leaving the drum, the gas begins to rotate due to the friction between the air and gas particles. This giant demonstration of the Bernoulli Principle lasts several minutes. The rings are stabilized by the motion of the particles as they float off into the atmosphere, slowly dissolving. This phenomenon can also be found in nature. Smoke rings measuring up to 200 meters in diameter and lasting up to 10 minutes have been observed at mount Etna.

The smoke clouds reinstate an archaic communication method to transport a simple fact. Exactly 250kg of carbon dioxide have just been released into the atmosphere. On a clear day, this message will be broadcast throughout the city. Approximately 2,4 million of them per year, released as an endless stream, ring by ring, into the atmosphere.
This solemn procession gives the abstract emissions debate shape and scale; people can see it, and count it.

Still it is not a simple message. On the contrary.
Denmark is the world leader in waste-to-energy conversion. The new state-of the art Amagerforbrænding plant will reduce environmental impact to a minimum. The technology it uses is widely regarded as the best solution available. It still might not be enough.

Sophisticated methods alone will not halt climate change. At the end of the day, only the absolute emissions output matters. Even with tremendous machines that clean up behind us we can no longer ignore the limits of the planet we live on; Only our ability to adapt our lives to these limits will count.

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Picture of sux2bu67 achievements

+2 1. sux2bu commented 7 years ago

All you really see is water vapor and smoke since co2 is colorless and odorless,but all plant-life looks forward to more of it.
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+5 2. airbagmoments commented 7 years ago

@sux2bu Life is so much more relaxing when reality is thought about in simple and usually incorrect or incomplete ways isn't it?

Meanwhile, in much less relaxing actual reality, too much of almost anything is toxic, including CO2 for plants. And let's not forget ocean acidification, which marine plants don't really "look forward to."

(If the Koch brothers didn't pay you your pittance for promulgating that comforting lie you are missing out. Go register on their website like a boss!)
Picture of sux2bu67 achievements

-2 3. sux2bu commented 7 years ago

#2 co2 makes up only 0.04% of the earth's atmosphere and increasing it to 0.12% has been shown to increase seed yield of wheat and rice by as much as 40%. There is no chance co2 levels will actually rise to 0.12% in the next million years or so, so quit with all the "sky is falling" propaganda you have been fed. Mother Nature knows how to take care of herself just fine.
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+2 4. ringmaster commented 7 years ago

I find it nice that they produce glories and send them to the angels :) Hope for a divine intervention for the sake of our climate and environment!
Picture of Judge-Jake53 achievements

+4 5. Judge-Jake commented 7 years ago

A million of these puff circles a year that's about 2 a minute. So on a clear day if they hang around you'll have 2880 of the little feckers in the sky. Surly this is going to make everyone just think of the Olympics all the time. ::(|)
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-2 6. Natan_el_Tigre commented 7 years ago

#1 and #2, “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”
- Mark Twain

For those of us not suffering from "one-sided reference bias", here's a good primer for critical thought:
Picture of thundersnow58 achievements

+1 7. thundersnow commented 7 years ago

I'm not a scientist, but sux2bu, living in the US you should know the effects of atmospheric warming secondary to increased Co2 levels by now, causing more extreme weather i.e. droughts, etc. You know that most of California is in a severe state of drought, don't you, and CA is our major fruit and vegetable distributor. Don't be in denial, the produce prices in your supermarket will soon reflect these changes.
Picture of arakawa25 achievements

+2 8. arakawa commented 7 years ago

a cool way to export pollution to another countries. That is not waste management at all. Let's shoot fireworks every time a smoke ring is released!
Picture of dushan56 achievements

+2 9. dushan commented 7 years ago

#7 it's not living in denial, it's more like "living in air-conditioned room disconnected from reality" :)
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+1 10. thundersnow commented 7 years ago

Haha yeah #9, I saw that in the news back in the winter when we were covered in the pretty white fluffy stuff. Unbelievable!
Picture of sux2bu67 achievements

+1 11. sux2bu commented 7 years ago

#7 Here is your California "drought",a man-made condition to save the last few Delta smelt fish that are almost extinct. Millions of gallons of available water needed for farming and human use is being diverted and wasted for nothing.
And it is a fabricated myth that weather is becoming more extreme than previous decades.Tornado alley got its name long ago so it is not a recent phenomenon.
Picture of snotraddict45 achievements

+2 12. snotraddict commented 7 years ago

#7 & #11- there has been weather extremes for billions of years.

There's a difference between drought (which is not man made) and lack of water (which is man-made) in CA. Droughts in CA happen on a semi regular basis, our forefathers made ways to capture that water (dams and reservoirs) for the "non rainy days" so-to-speak. Our politicians (Democrats) who have run the state for several decades now have seen fit not to invest in infrastructure even though we have the highest taxes in most major categories. Highest taxes and no infrastructure yet we're going bankrupt so where's the money?

So instead of water infrastructure for everyone, our bozo of a governor is backing a $100 billion plus slow choo choo train for a handful of people. It ain't about the water, it's about $$.

BTW the delta smelt that we're bending over backward to "save" aren't even native to the state. They're stow-aways on ships from China, but again it ain't about the water, it's about $$ and control.
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+1 13. sux2bu commented 7 years ago

#12 Thanks for confirming everything I pointed out. ;)