Heat waves, pollution peaks, etc. Cities, that will be home to almost two-thirds of the world’s population by 2050, are facing new environmental challenges, foremost among which is air quality. A close-up on three solutions to this issue that take inspiration from nature.
An algae Carbon Sink that purifies the air and produces energy
The Carbon Sink is an innovation resulting from a partnership between SUEZ and Fermentalg, a French company specialised in the production and use of micro-algae, that transforms air pollution into green energy, thanks to the powers of micro-algae, combined with the principle of photosynthesis.
As the micro-algae grow in a column of water, they fix the carbon dioxide (CO2) and other atmospheric pollutants, such as fine particles (PM10 and PM2.5) or nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The efficiency of the solution was demonstrated, notably during tests in Paris, which showed that the presence of these two variables were down by 50 to 75% on average.
Thanks to the CO2 captured and dissolved in the water, the micro-algae multiply, forming a biomass that is then transported in the sanitation network to the wastewater treatment plant, where it can be recovered as biomethane, a form of green energy.