Clearing up the Air

As we come to terms with the idea of a planet with finite resources and grapple to offset the effects of our industrialized society, the scientific community is increasingly turning towards nature to help solve key problems. A perfect example of this ‘Biomimicry’, i.e. imitation of the models, systems, and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems, is shown by Pierre Calleja and his team at FermentAlg.

The French start-up which is experimenting with algae and evaluating its use as food and biofuels, recently found another use for the green substance – An Algae lamp. The lamp uses the energy released during photosynthesis by the micro-algae to store energy in batteries, which could then power the lamps at night. All this while sucking the CO2 right out of the atmosphere. Each of these devices is estimated to be able to absorb about 1 Ton CO2 per year, significantly more than most tree.

It’s still in early stages of development, with deployments envisioned in parking places, city streets as well as densely populated city blocks. A brilliant attempt at resolving two problems at once, I just hope it gets to see the light of day.

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