LIQUID3: Urban Photo-Bioreactor to Improve Air Quality

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According to Our World In Data, 11.65% of deaths per year can be attributed as caused by air pollution. In today’s modern world where everyone uses some form of land transportation and almost everything can be run by machines, the air quality had deteriorated. The lack of trees to supply good quality air contributes to this current state. Whether that’s due to deforestation, natural disasters, or simply humans making way for buildings and skyscrapers, the planet now suffers from a lack of fresh air from trees. Lack of space to plant in highly populated areas could also be a factor affecting the decline in their number.

LIQUID3
Image: Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser / Our World in Data

In IQAir’s 2019 World Air Quality Report, Serbia ranked as Europe’s 5th most polluted country from a list of 37 European countries and regions. This resulted from varying sources, such as Serbia’s coal-fired power plants. A group of scientists from the University of Belgrade have developed LIQUID3 to address these problems.

Urban solution for cleaner air

LIQUID3 is “an urban photo-bioreactor that harnesses the power of microalgae to efficiently remove CO2 and produce O2 and biomass.” According to one of the scientists working on the project, Dr. Ivan Spasojevic, the microalgae is equivalent to “two 10-year-old trees or 200 square meters of lawn.” This is because it can produce oxygen while absorbing carbon dioxide.

Rather than waiting years for a tree to grow, LIQUID3 can be installed in a matter of hours. People can lounge in the area while waiting for a meet-up or for their phones to charge. Its design comes with a bench that has chargers for mobile phones and remains functional even during winter.

LIQUID3 Urban Bio-Reactor For City Centers With Futuristic Bench
Image: LIQUID3

While most are welcoming, some people are wary of this innovation. The issue lies mainly due to the preference for real trees. Some had even argued that the liquid trees were mostly done for aesthetics. However, it had been reiterated by LIQUID3 that the main goal is not to replace trees. The aim is to provide the same benefits to places where physical trees cannot be planted.

Trees are vital in providing us with oxygen and absorbing the carbon dioxide that we release. Over the years, tree-planting activities and other events have been created to support the maintenance of our environment and ecosystem. Innovation such as the LIQUID3 can help as it provides cleaner breathing air in congested urban cities.


YouTube: Liquid3: the first algae air purifier in Serbia

Photo credits: The feature image used is symbolic and has been taken by Annette Hohe for Ralf Reski of ReskiLab, University of Freiburg. The infographic used in the body of the article has been created by Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser for Our World in Data and has been made available for press usage. The photo in the body of the article has been provided by LIQUID3 with permission.
Sources: Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser (Our World in Data) / IQAir / Balkan Green Energy News / The Index Project

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Melanie Manguiat
Melanie Manguiat
Melanie has always been fascinated with storytellers, so she's trying to become one. When not working, she enjoys a little bit of everything that life has to offer.
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