These designers are covering large buildings with algae to combat pollution.
Their special curtains are filled with micro-algae, which absorbs carbon dioxide (Co2) and produces oxygen. They are designed to hang on the sides of buildings and are made from clear bioplastic.
EcoLogiaStudio created the “bio-curtain” called Photo.Synth.Etica. The company hopes the curtains will help buildings in urban areas reach new sustainability goals.
“We introduce air, like, let’s say dirty urban air from the bottom,” Co-Founder Marco Poletto said. “Air naturally rises through the system and comes into contact with the algae cells. The algae cells, as I said, are extremely voracious organisms so they eat up all the particles and release oxygen as a consequence of photosynthesis.”
The designers estimate the amount of Co2 captured per day by 14 meters squared equates to the amount absorbed by 20 large trees. The curtains can also be manufactured to hold more algae, depending on the building’s Co2 levels and needs.
“Our technology is both beautiful and highly performative and I think we can—that’s where the big impact will happen,” Poletto said. “It will literally be the equivalent of a micro-forest being planted, but with virtually no surface area being taken.”
The Co2 absorbed helps the algae grow into organic matter, which can be used for bioplastic, biofuels, food, and cosmetics. The bio-curtains were on display at the Climate Innovation Summit in 2018.