Algae Dome takes in sunlight to produce both superfood and oxygen

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There is more to this art installation beyond its alluring geometrical arrangement. Designed by the resourceful folks over at SPACE10, a Copenhagen-based future-living lab, the 13-ft tall Algae Dome has been envisaged as a food-producing mechanism that can also supply oxygen within a closed loop system.

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Exhibited at the CHART art fair in Copenhagen, the installation is powered by solar energy. In essence, the structure absorbs sunlight and carbon dioxide to produce microalgae, the world’s first known photosynthetic microorganisms. But other than its potential as a biofuel, microalgae are for-all-intents-and-purposes the superfood of the future. To that end, the organism’s credentials include – having twice as much protein as meat (in the same volume), while also boasting vitamins and minerals, including more carotene than carrots and more iron than spinach.

And even beyond their impressive nutritional values, microalgae can prove to be economically viable, since they are 20-times more productive than conventional crops, while needing basic ‘input’, like sunlight. In other words, they pose no direct competition to agriculture because the organisms can even be grown in deserts without fertility. Pertaining to this latterly mentioned advantage, Algae Dome flaunted its efficiency by producing a whopping 450 liters of microalgae, in spite of its relatively compact area.

 
The production scope was achieved by arranging almost 320 m (1050 ft) of coiled tubing that maintained the ‘flow’ of the strikingly green microalgae. Some of these grown specimens were cooked into spirulina (a type of blue-green algae) chips, created by SPACE10’s chef-in-residence Simon Perez. Furthermore, visitors were invited to enjoy the ‘fresh air’, with microalgae’s capacity to convert carbon dioxide into breathable oxygen. In that regard, the SPACE10 designers said –

In the future, different species of microalgae could be used as a form of nutrient-rich food, as a replacement for soy protein in animal feed, in the development of biofuels, as a way to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, and as a method of treating industrial wastewater. In other words, microalgae could help combat malnutrition, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, help stop the destruction of the rainforest, improve air quality, and reduce pollution. Little wonder that microalgae have been dubbed the future’s sustainable super crop.

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And lastly, such benefits can be combined with the credible design of the Algae Dome itself. In essence, by virtue of its simple structure, the Algae Dome can be installed as flexible food-producing mechanisms in various places, ranging from bus-stops to apartment areas.

For more information, you can check out SPACE10’s homepage.

Via: Inhabitat

  • henryblack

    Interesting article. I did not know about it before. keep it up.
    District News

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