An urban greenhouse that purifies the air from pollutants. Opened by architects Claudia Pasquero and Marco Polito founders ecoLogicStudioIn Warsaw, AirBubble inaugurated the first biotechnology playground that purifies air from particulate matter thanks to the incorporation of 52 photobioreactors with microalgae crops inside.
Microalgae against pollution
AirBubble uses PhotoSynthetica technology. This is a system we’ve been working on for about six years – explains architect Marco Polito – We experienced one of the first significant activities with PhotoSynthetica in the Future Food District at the Milan Expo 2015 where Urban Algae Canopy incorporated algae cultivation on the roof. On that occasion, we started to develop this technological system: a photoarchitecture film capable of inserting Live cultures of cyanobacteria and microalgae that absorb substances dissolved in air and water through photosynthesis and convert them into biomass“.
From pollutants to biomass
AirBubble was installed in the public space adjacent to the Copernicus Science Center (Centrum Nauki Kopernik). The cylindrical structure made of wood is covered with an EFTE film that controls the microclimate inside and protects 52 borosilicate glass reactors containing 520 liters of live culture of green algae Chlorella NS Capable of filtering a polluted air flow of 200 liters per minute.
The conical roof membrane contributes to air recirculation and natural ventilation to keep the play area clean, which is configured as a kind of urban greenhouse for micro-algae cultivation.
AirBubble integrates sensors to detect urban air pollution and is connected to a data processing platform capable of comparing measurements taken in real time and projecting an air quality index for six of the most important pollutants. The polls for the month of July 2021 highlighted one of them An 85.6% decrease in PM2.5 concentrations within the stadium.
The idea behind the project – says engineer Bolito – It is the use of biotechnology, a natural biological technology, to capture substances that are pollutants for us while they are sources of nourishment for the microorganisms that they use to replicate and create new micro-cells that are then converted into biomass. Thus the process refers to the principle of urban circularity – explain – Biomass, In fact, has value There are already a number of industries we collaborate with that use them in new food supply chains biological fibers Based on bioplastic. Therefore, there are many applications for rethinking the city of the future in terms of ecology and circularity.”