Scientists have developed plant-based panels working on photosynthesis principle that eliminate greenhouse gases and produce oxygen. The special “green roof” cleans the air while producing food ingredients. Platforms purify the same amount of air as 100 trees in as little space as a single tree. This device can be installed on the roofs of buildings and in the landscape just like solar panels.

Unique Green Technology

The unique system, called “BioSolar Leaf”, was developed in collaboration between Imperial College London and Arborea company in the UK.

Arborea was founded by alumnus Julian Melchiorri, who completed two masters in Innovation Design Engineering in 2014, and a joint college by Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art. Melchiorri is known for his progressive and green living designs. In 2017, he introduced his Bionic Chandelier. The living and breathing structure purifies the air by using micro algae. The chandelier eventually became part of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s permanent collection.

Organic Edible Biomass

This unique system, thanks to miniature plants (microalgae, phytoplankton, diatoms, etc.), removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and at the same time produces both oxygen and food ingredients – specifically organic proteins, which Arborea then extracts and uses to make various food products.

The plants in question are placed on structures similar to classical solar panels. One acre (about 4,000 square meters) of BioSolar Leaf will do as good work as 100 acres of trees when cleaning the air.

Melchiorri said: “When I founded Arborea, my goal was to tackle climate change while addressing the critical issues related to the food system. This pilot plant will produce sustainable healthy food additives while purifying the air, producing oxygen and removing carbon dioxide from the surrounding environment. ”

The advantage is that the BioSolar Leaf can theoretically be installed in many places. According to Stephen Cowan, councilor of Hammersmith and Fulham, he has the potential to cause “air quality revolution in London and around the world”.


Credit:, Imperial College London