New Bioreactor Uses Algae to Capture As Much Carbon As An Acre Of Trees

In the future, offices might just have one extra appliance with the copy machine and the refrigerator: an algae bioreactor. Designed to fit inside offices and in due course sit on the rooftops throughout cities, a prototype of new algae bioreactor has been developed which can suck nearly as much carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere as an acre of forest. This device has the potential to give densely populated cities a new weapon in the fight against catastrophic climate change.

Hypergiant Industries, a tech development firm used AI systems to create its newly announced Eos Bioreactor prototype, a 63-cubic foot box which is filled with algae. As algae grow much more quickly than trees, it also sequesters carbon more quickly.  The startup estimates that the device, which optimizes the algae’s ability to capture CO2, can capture around two tons of carbon out of the air each year i.e. equivalent to 400 trees and keeps it out of the environment.

It’s a somber reality today that carbon capture technology will likely play a crucial part in our fight against climate change, but there is yet no viable carbon capture system at a large enough scale. Algae bioreactors follow the biological approach to carbon sequestration and is an established concept with a prototype being tested at the International Space Station. As the algae thrive on carbon dioxide emissions, it could theoretically then be harvested for use as a material or a source of dietary protein.

In another working example, a German building also uses an algae-covered façade to power itself. But Hypergiant, which generally creates AI-driven technology for aviation, space exploration, and defense industries, saw an opportunity to apply machine learning to make more efficient algae-filled devices that could be broadly and practically deployed. A Hypergiant spokesperson told Futurism that the company plans to release the blueprints for its 55-gallon system so that people can develop new variants that might be easier to build into homes or office buildings.

Hypergiant CEO Ben Lamm said in a press release, “This device is one of our first efforts focused on fixing the planet we are on. We hope to inspire and collaborate with others on a similar mission.”


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