Our atmosphere is filling up with CO2 and human activities seem to be the major cause of that. The generally accepted solution is to cutting back on CO2 emissions as quickly as possible, but implementing such cuts is facing resistance by the rich-industrialized countries. Reducing emissions is thus problematic because everyone has to agree to do more, which essentially ends up costing a lot of time and money.
The world should also look around some alternative measures. Instead of relying entirely on cutting emissions, why don’t we start taking CO2 out of the atmosphere? Let me share recent environment friendly invention, Algae Street Lamps, which absorb more CO2 in a year than the trees.
French biochemist, Pierre Calleja, has invented this impressive streetlight that is powered by algae which absorbs CO2 from the air. Calleja has developed a lighting system that requires no electricity for power. Instead it draws CO2 from the atmosphere and uses it to produce light as well as oxygen as a byproduct. The key ingredient to this eco-friendly light is Algae.
Algae street lamps consist of algae-filled water along with a light and battery system. During the day the algae produce energy from sunlight that is then stored in the batteries. Then at night the energy is used to power the light. However, as the algae can also produce energy from carbon, sunlight isn’t required for the process to work. That means such lights can be placed where there is no natural light and the air will effectively be cleaned on a daily basis.
Many questions though still need to be answered, like how much maintenance such a light needs, the good news however is that algae can also act as a biofuel once separated from the water. So even if the lights need a water change out every so often, the waste algae just forms another type of fuel whereas the water can be recycled.
We have heard algae-powered lamps before but this one takes out 1 ton of CO2 per year. This is as much CO2 as a tree absorbs on average during its entire life.
It seems a pretty amazing idea that could really work and clean the air pollution from urban areas (like parking lots) and at the same time look good. That said, reducing CO2 is still better than restoring, but in the meantime – let’s get this lamp working!