This Micro-Algae Lamp Absorbs 150-200 Times More CO2 than a Tree! (Video) : TreeHugger
September 15, 2012 1 Comment
This new lighting design was posted on Treehugger by Petz Scholtus. It’s essentially a streetlamp that is surrounded by a tubular tank full of micro-algae. The algae need light and carbon dioxide to survive, and while the light is part of the structure, they pull their CO2 out of the air, purifying it. The inventor claims that the micro-algae will pull as much CO2 out of the air in a year as an average tree will over its entire lifetime. I can’t say I know much about the science, so I’m going to trust this guy; what I know is the design, and so I want to discuss that. The light coming from this thing is sort of cool and eerie, but not terribly strong. It could be used for pedestrian-scale lighting and architectural accents, but I’m not sure how feasible it would be for roadway lighting, as the video suggests. Also, light of different colors has different effects on people’s behavior and perception of an area, and I’m not sure of the effects of green light on people’s psyches, but from a quick reading of this study it seems that green has a calming effect. So, does that make it better for residential rather than commercial, where you want to be more exciting? My biggest concerns would be about maintenance and potential for vandalism. How different would the maintenance be for these lights? How would you go about replacing bulbs, and would you have to do it quickly for fear of the algae dying? Do you have to add other nutrients to the water on a regular basis to keep the algae healthy? How do you regulate reproduction, or dispose of dead algae? How do you build the tubes to make them safe from punctures? How do you cover it to keep garbage from being thrown in? There are a lot of questions, but I think that there are certain applications where this could be a very useful tool, and could do a lot of good for the environment of cities.