Smart Algal Liquid Trees

 Seagriculture EU 2024
Smart Algal Liquid Trees

Smart Algal Liquid Tree with spirulina (left) and with chlorella.

Indoor air pollution is a rising global concern. According to the World Health Organization an estimated 3.2 million deaths were recorded in 2020 due to household air pollution. It is a root cause of severe heart and respiratory diseases and is causing serious threats in highly polluted countries. One of the more recent concepts in development to address this issue goes by the acronym of SALT.

The Renewable Energy and Biotechnology Research team at India’s Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research (CSIR – CIMFR) has developed the Smart Algal Liquid Tree (SALT), designed for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality, particularly in interior spaces like schools and offices. Its developers describe SALT as a mobile tree with wheels. They envision it also located inside banks, malls, shopping complexes, airports, railway station, etc.

The device consists of 100 liters of microalgae in a transparent algae culture vessel, with air sparger, light, and wheel. It operates with LED lighting for indoor applications or in natural sunlight if used in an outdoor application, with solar energy power in development.

SALT is said to be easy to operate, move, and maintain in different locations.  After Installation the maintenance consists of adding nutrients, providing adequate light, observing changes in color and growth of algae, and regular sparging. The air sparger comes with it, as well as a mobile charger.

CSIR – CIMFR is in progress to produce more of these units and test them in various situations. Tests using spirulina and chlorella are currently being run at temperatures of 12ºC – 32ºC. Environments in the tests include a 384 sq. ft. indoor room and a 5400 sq. ft, outdoor conference hall.

Two versions are being conceived: a 100-liter SALT Bench Model, and a smaller desktop model. The scientists plan to connect with a production partner to commercialize SALT.

Submitted by: Vetrivel Anguselvi, Senior Principal Scientist and Section Head of Renewable Energy and Biotechnology, CSIR – CIMFR

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