So much focus on reducing global emissions is focused on what comes out of the tailpipes of the average automobile. Replacing gasoline won’t be easy, and it won’t happen overnight either, though urban algae farms placed on highway overpasses could literally devour many of the harmful CO2 emissions spewing out of cars and trucks.
Developed by two design firms from France and the Netherlands called the Cloud Collective, this urban algae farm installation was put in place as part of the annual summer garden festival at Genève Villes et Champs. Fed by sunlight and CO2 emissions from the cars below, the algae is slowly transformed from pond scum into a usable oil that can be converted into components for cosmetics, burnable biomass, or other consumer products. While one such installation won’t make a world of difference, if done en masse on an entire nation’s worth of highways, the reduction in automotive CO2 emissions could be tremendous.
While many algae-to-fuel operations rely on massive ponds in the middle of nowhere to grow there would-be fuel, by integrating algae growth into urban centers, the fuel wouldn’t have to travel very far at all to be refined, processed, and turned into usable goods or fuels. All in all one of the more clever uses of algae that I’ve seen, and it’s an idea with a surprising amount of merit, at least on its face.
Might urban algae farms be the solution to rampant CO2 emissions, at least until they day we all drive hydrogen or electric cars?