In London, design house ecoLogicStudio is piloting the use of photosynthetic microalgae to help de-carbonize cities. The company has developed an “urban curtain” of microalgae that stores carbon dioxide. The prototype, dubbed Photo.Synth.Etica, was featured at the Printworks building in Dublin, as the city hosts the 2018 Climate Innovation Summit. Photo.Synth.Etica’s modules, which house the cultures, are made from bioplastic.
“[W]hen the Printworks building emits [carbon dioxide], this is captured by each of our facade’s photo-bioreactors and feeds the living algae cultures within them,” ecoLogicStudio co-founder Marco Poletto, tells Archinect. “[And] when the sun shines, its energy is captured by the algae cells within the photo-bioreactors that are designed to form an urban curtain in front of the existing building.”
The oxygen produced by the microalgae is released at the top of the curtain, while the biomass produced can be used to produce building materials.