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FermentAlg: Algae-Powered Lamp That Provides Light and Absorbs Carbon Dioxide


algae-streetlight-537x359While urban planners and city officials are debating over what is better- planting trees alongside roads to absorb carbon dioxide or making more space for light installations to avoid accidents at night, a biochemist from the clean tech firm FermentAlg has designed a smart green way to tackle both problems at the same time. A new lamp, filled with glowing green algae, absorbs CO2 and lights up powered entirely by the plant cells inside.

The concentrations of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere are growing exponentially, and while the ‘big guys’ are making plans and drawing strategies for how to reduce them and prevent a huge climate change disaster from happening, others are reaching for more practical solutions. Pierre Calleja, a designer and scientist in France, found a not-so-conventional, and yet very practical way to use green algae.

When placed inside a tube, the glowing green plant cells were found to be a perfect source of light. The designer shaped up the tube into a lamp post, which can be placed pretty much everywhere and power itself solely through the process of photosynthesis. Not only that the invention does not require any external source of energy, but it also can absorb as much as a ton of carbon per year, which in other words adds up to the amount taken up by nearly 200 trees. It is even equipped with a mechanism that stores excess power for later use.

If this is not a practical mean to tackle air pollution, I don’t know what is. Such a novel design, if produced on a larger scale, could well solve the problem that many cities are trying to overcome. And just in case the invention does not stand up to investors’ expectations, the guys at FermentAlg have a lot more to offer- from using algae in Omega 3 supplements and cosmetics, all the way to making alternative biofuel. Check out their website to see more of the company’s incredible ideas.

Image (c) FermentAlg

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