Innovation That Matters

“Nature Assumption”, uses microalgae to reduce CO2 levels | Photo source Nature Assumption

Air purifier sequesters carbon using microalgae

Sustainability

The device pumps air in and out at a pace variable to the amount of CO2 in the environment

Spotted: There are countless air purifiers on the market, but none have purified CO2 until now. A group of students from Tunghai University in Taiwan have designed the concept for a device capable of sequestering carbon to lower CO2 level in small spaces. The device, which has been nominated in this year’s James Dyson Award under the project name “Nature Assumption”, uses microalgae to reduce CO2 levels. 

Carbon dioxide is naturally sequestered by trees and algae. Trees take carbon into their trunks and roots and release oxygen back into the air as part of their photosynthesis process. Algae replicate the same process but absorb the carbon in the form of more algae — this is called carbon fixation. Because algae may cover greater surface area and develop faster than trees, it can use more carbon dioxide.

Think of the design like a pair of lungs, but instead of breathing out more CO2, it does the opposite. The device has been designed to pump air in and out, so that it looks like it is breathing.  

There is also a sensor that detects the levels of CO2 in a space. As the amount of CO2 increases, the device breathes more frequently. Likewise, when the CO2 decreases, it inhales slower. 

The algae essentially use carbon to grow. There is a curly part at the end of the pump where microalgae accumulate and also where carbon is stored. The team chose to use algae due to its high efficiency in fixating carbon. 

Written By: Katrina Lane

Explore more: Sustainability Innovations | Work & Lifestyle Innovations

Website: jamesdysonaward.org

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