Bio-digital Urban Curtain Uses Algae to Clean Air in Cities

A London-based architectural and urban design firm ecoLogicStudio, in collaboration with European climate innovation has designed a Bio-digital Urban curtain-aka Photo.Synth.Etica to purify the polluted air around us.

To protect the future of urban species, it is essential that our cities remain healthier and sturdier. These days, engineers and designers are planning safer and healthier buildings that not only survive natural disasters & pandemics but also curb ever-growing pollution in the cities.

It is estimated that there will come a radical change in our cities in the next few decades that will probably transform urban spaces into biological organisms. It will help us to prevent the main threat to human existence- environmental pollution. 

Bio-digital Urban Curtain

Recently, a London-based architectural and urban design firm ecoLogicStudio, in collaboration with European climate innovation, has designed a Bio-digital Urban curtain-aka Photo.Synth.Etica to purify the polluted air around us. It contains algae that capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stores it. It can store around one kg of CO2 in a day, which is equivalent to that of 20 large trees. The credit for filtering air goes to its serpentine design, which helps the modules make the best use of carbon sequencing process.

It is created to be integrated into both new and existing buildings. The curtain consists of sixteen, 2 x 7 metres (6.6 x 23 feet) metre modules, each of these is digitally designed and tailor-made from bioplastic and function as a photobioreactor. These photobioreactor uses sunlight to feed the micro-algal cultures. At night, these algae emit luminescent shades. 

Bio-digital Urban Curtain

The unfiltered urban air accumulates at the bottom of the façade, and air bubbles naturally go up through the water medium within the bioplastic photobioreactors. Here, these bubbles come in contact with several microbes that capture air pollutions and carbon dioxide molecules. The algae store these molecules and then grow into reusable biomass. Later on, the biomass is used in the production for bioplastic. The entire process releases photosynthesized oxygen from the top of each module. 

Bio-digital Urban Curtain

The curtain is designed to solve the current global climate crisis. As we all are already aware of the onslaught of pollution in the major cities of India, there is a need to integrate such Bio-digital Urban Curtains in India as well. The product was revealed during the Climate Innovation Summit 2018 that took place from   6 to 8 November in Dublin.


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