EcoLogicStudio Creates Algae-powered Air Purifier

 Seagriculture EU 2024

EcoLogiStudio’s air purifier uses algae to filter airborne pollutants. Images: Pepe Fotografia

London design practice EcoLogicStudio has created a collection of everyday objects using algae, including a desktop air purifier that outputs material used to create furniture and accessories, to be shown at Milan Design Week.

The PhotoSynthetica collection is anchored by the AIReactor, a desktop photobioreactor that uses algae to purify the air. The biowaste from the process is then used to create biopolymers integrated into 3D-printed objects, such as the stool and ring that complete the collection.

The collection grows upon the research EcoLogicStudio’s PhotoSynthetica launched in 2018, which includes a massive tree sculpture created using biomass, or waste material, harvested from microalgae.

“There are several motives behind the creation of this collection,” the studio told Dezeen. “First and foremost, to support the scaling up of the PhotoSynthetica technology, thus allowing its deployment in urban areas with high levels of air pollution, offering immediate benefits to densely populated areas where air quality is a significant concern.”

“By harnessing the natural air-purifying properties of algae, the technology effectively removes pollutants such as carbon dioxide and particulate matter from the atmosphere, thereby reducing air pollution levels.”

The AIRreactor, standing at one meter tall, was created using a birch plywood frame that can be recycled or composted, according to the team. It supports a glass photobioreactor at its center, which contains 10 liters of a bright green liquid containing microalgae cultures.

Air is introduced to the liquid by a reactor at the bottom, which constantly stirs the mixture to emulate natural marine waves and currents.

The algae then filter carbon dioxide and pollutants from the air and convert it into biomass and oxygen through photosynthesis, the waste of which is collected to create the accompanying stool and ring. “In addition to capturing pollutants, the microalgae cultivated in AIReactor can be harvested and utilized to produce biopolymers for 3D printing products,” said the designers.

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