Clean green

This indoor photo bioreactor absorbs carbon dioxide and pollutants using algae.

London design practice ecoLogicStudio has unveiled a collection of biophilic design pieces anchored by a desktop algae air purification system. Titled the ‘Photo.Synth.Etica Collection’, it is the culmination of five years of research and development from the studio and follows its previous tree sculpture created using biomass harvested from microalgae.

Named the ‘AIReactor’, the ecoLogicStudio air purifier, comprising interlocking birch plywood components that support a metre-tall glass photobioreactor hosting 10 litres of living photosynthetic microalgae cultures, captures air from the environment, absorbing carbon dioxide and pollutants, and transforms it into oxygen.

‘By harnessing the natural air-purifying properties of algae, the technology effectively removes pollutants such as carbon dioxide and particulate matter from the atmosphere, thereby reducing air pollution levels,’ the studio told Dezeen.

The air captured is introduced at the base of the reactor that is constantly stirring the medium, simulating the effects of waves and currents in the marine environment. The gentle bubbling keeps the algae afloat, aids oxygenation and produces a soothing sound that emanates alongside fresh oxygen from the AIReactor. The filter then converts the carbon dioxide and pollutants into a biomass. 

The AIReactor has the same carbon-capturing potential of a mature tree and is engineered to be carbon neutral in its entire life cycle – it is a completely circular product, made of a few core elements that at the end of their useful life can be reused, recycled or composted.

The Photo.Synth.Etica Collection, which will be on show at Milan Design Week from April 16 to 21, includes a Compostable Stool and a Biodigital Ring – a 3D-printed jewel made of re-metabolised pollution –  each connected to the others in a larger circular design scheme. The biomass grown from the air purification process becomes raw material for 3D printing the stool and the jewel.

‘This collection is born from the dream of growing the city of the future from the waste and pollution of our current fossil civilisation. More than products, these first three objects are tools to start a collective process of urban re-metabolisation,’ comments Dr Marco Poletto, co-founder and Director of ecoLogicStudio.


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