Beyond Trees: How Microalgae Could be the Key to Fighting Urban Air Pollution

April 4, 2023
1 min read

A well-known method to lower atmospheric CO2 levels is to plant trees.Heavily populated cities, however, leave little room for planting greenery.A liquid tree, nicknamed LIQUID3, is the solution.

LIQUID3 is an innovative tool that converts CO2 into oxygen just as plants do.The liquid tree is a state-of-the-art urban photobioreactor the first of its kind in Serbia, & a significant breakthrough in the ongoing battle against air pollution.It’s to be noted that air pollution is a growing concern in urban areas worldwide, with dire consequences for human health & the environment.

Serbia’s first urban photo-bioreactor, called liquid tree, is designed to address the issue of greenhouse gas emissions & improve air quality in densely populated areas. LIQUID3 contains 600 liters of water & microalgae that bind CO2 & produce pure oxygen through the process of photosynthesis.

The efficiency of microalgae in binding CO2 is 10 to 50 times more than trees.The liquid tree aims not to replace  forests but to fill urban pockets where there is no space for planting trees. The capital of Serbia, Belgrade, is the fourth most polluted city in the country, with air quality severely compromised due to the presence of two large coal power plants nearby.

The location of LIQUID 3 is on Makedonska Street in front of the Municipality Star Grad in Belgrade, Serbia, an area where CO2 emissions are the highest in the country.The liquid tree is more efficient than trees as they suffer from exposure to high levels of toxic genes & dust, reducing their ability to absorb CO2 effectively.

Two10- year old trees or200 square meters of lawn can be replaced by one LIQUID3. The liquid tree or photo-bioreactor is made up of  a glass-tank holding approximately 600 litres of water & microalgae.

The LIQUID3 also serves as a bench with mobile phone chargers & features a solar panel for lighting at night.The aim of the project is to promote & expand  the use of microalgae in Serbia for various purposes, such as wastewater treatment, composting, biomass & biofuel production, & air purification.

The LIQUID3 offers a novel & efficient solution for sequestering greenhouse gasses in Belgrade’s most polluted urban areas.The photo-bioreactor called liquid tree represents a potential game-changer in the Leighton against urban air pollution by utilizing microalgae to bind CO2 & produce pure oxygen, offering a glimpse of a cleaner, greener future.

Govind Tekale

Embarking on a new journey post-retirement, Govind, once a dedicated teacher, has transformed his enduring passion for current affairs and general knowledge into a conduit for expression through writing. His historical love affair with reading, which borders on addiction, has evolved into a medium to articulate his thoughts and disseminate vital information. Govind pens down his insights on a myriad of crucial topics, including the environment, wildlife, energy, sustainability, and health, weaving through every aspect that is quintessential for both our existence and that of our planet. His writings not only mirror his profound understanding and curiosity but also serve as a valuable resource, offering a deep dive into issues that are critical to our collective future and well-being.

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