Towers with microalgae filters. (Photos: TEC)
With the challenge of reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide, a tower with microalgae filters has been designed that generates healthy air in the middle of cities.
These are some towers called BIOURBAN, which have a biofiltration system of atmospheric pollutants that improve air quality, as if they were artificial trees.
The invention is the work of the team of the young Mexican Carlos Monroy Sampieri. Its startup Biomitech was the winner of the Heineken Green Challenge during the INCMtY 2018 entrepreneurship festival, organized every year by the Tecnológico (TEC) of Monterrey.
The towers work with microalgae that capture and filter atmospheric pollutants. Through photosynthesis, algae transform carbon dioxide into oxygen and expel biomass, which can be used as a compost or to make biofuel.
“A filter you throw and contaminate, and in this case, microalgae are something that already exists and is in the environment. This helps us to make products without contamination, “says Monroy for CONECTA.
“Everything has a biological principle, that’s why we use living organisms. We are not altering the environmental footprint, we do not generate garbage or something that required a process that contaminates, “he added.
The towers have sensors that monitor the quality of the air and are self-sustaining, since they work with solar energy.
Through courses, Monroy began to design and develop the technology, along with a market analysis to make it profitable and scalable. “I had the opportunity to take some courses at MIT in 2016 (…) there was diffusion and we got the capital in 2016,” he explains. From then on, the prototype began to work in Puebla (Mexico).
Currently there are 4 models of the Biourban towers:
- Biourban 1.0. For indoor use.
- Biourban Ashtray. For indoor use. Receive the cigarette butts and biodegrade them.
- Biourban 2.0. Indoor and outdoor use
- Biourban Industries. It is used only in various types of industrial boilers.
The Biourban 2.0 and the Biourban Industries can filter the same air as more than 360 trees, which is equivalent to the daily breathing of 2890 people.
The towers for indoor use measure 2 meters high and 15 centimeters in diameter, while those for external and industrial use measure 4 meters high and 2.75 meters in diameter.
(Sources: TEC / CONECTA / DICYT) (NCYT®)