A photobioreactor capable of capturing CO2 (carbon dioxide) particles from the atmosphere has been installed in the streets of Serbia. It looks like a billboard, but instead of advertising, the machines bring fresh air to the city.
Created and designed by the Multidisciplinary Research Institute of the University of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, the product was named LIQUID3. Photobioreactor uses microalgae and sunlight to absorb CO2carry out photosynthesis and produce O2 (oxygen).
Seaweed is responsible for producing 54% of the world’s oxygen, according to data from the Brazilian Forestry Institute. The photobioreactor reproduces this function with LIQUID3.
Equipped with 600 liters of water, each panel works like a 10 year old tree or “equivalent” to 200m² of green space. So says Ivan Spasojevic, one of the authors of the project.
Although a tree provides invaluable ecosystem services, LIQUID3 is beneficial in helping to reduce CO2, which is one of the main greenhouse gases.
This “help” is particularly welcome in Belgrade, which is the fourth most polluted city in Serbia, especially since there are two large coal-fired power plants nearby.
The situation in the country as a whole is not good. In 2019, Serbia has been ranked as the fifth most polluted country in Europe. In the same year, scientists claimed the country had the worst per capita record in Europe for pollution-related deaths, at 175 per 100,000 people.
LIQUID3 received the Green Concept Award in 2022, which highlights sustainable products and services that are not yet on the market.
Although it does not replace trees, LIQUID3 helps improve city air. Therefore, it can positively integrate the infrastructure of urban areas, such as the famous green roof bus shelters.
The bench, integrated into the LIQUID3, serves as a shelter and resting place, element that is generally lacking in urban spaces. When night falls, the space turns into a neon green that lights up the street.