British pioneers designed a unique “air purifier” based on the natural behavior of cyanobacteria. Researchers have exploited the need for cyanobacteria for carbon dioxide, as these microorganisms feed on this greenhouse gas. The first pilot green farm grew up in Africa. In addition, it is a cheap way to combat global warming emissions.
Cyanobacteria and Algae Eat Carbon
According to current scientific knowledge, carbon dioxide has a significant share in the global warming of the Earth. This colorless and breathable gas consists of oxygen and carbon atoms. And carbon is the food for cyanobacteria. Therefore, the microorganisms would be grown intentionally in a special treatment plant from Brilliant Planet.
British scientists involved in the Brilliant Planet project are proposing special treatment plants in which green microorganisms absorb carbon dioxide. The first air purifier of this type grew up in Morocco, a country in North Africa. The algae test facility measures three hectares. So, it’s about the size of three football fields.
Green Air Purifier
Although the green slurry on the water does not look attractive, it has fascinating effects – it absorbs CO₂. The first project, formed from shallow reservoirs, lies in a desert landscape near the sea. Local algae and cyanobacterial species are grown in these reservoirs. Pumps powered by solar panels blow seawater into tanks. After the marine microorganisms are saturated, the employees harvest, dry, and destroy them.
Another task remains – where to accumulate the biomass of saturated cyanobacteria? So far, the project authors assume that green waste should be buried under the desert’s surface, where the carbon would last imprisoned for thousands of years.
Despite the fact that the purifier works and is a cheap and energy-efficient device, it cannot heal the planet on a global scale. It is estimated that a farm of one thousand hectares absorbs about 40,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually, which is negligible per mille compared to 36 billion tons of CO₂ produced globally per year.
Source and credit: brilliantplanet.com, ukri.org