A biological street lamp that cleans carbon out of the air

Illustration for article titled A biological street lamp that cleans carbon out of the air

One day, dark city streets could be illuminated with biotechnology like this glowing green lamp, which is made with fluorescent algae. The algae naturally emits a soft glow, and at the same time it draws harmful carbon out of the atmosphere. So this street light is naturally good for the environment.

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It also looks beautiful. This lamp is the brainchild of biochemist Pierre Calleja, who works with a team at green tech company FermentAlg on adapting algae for industrial uses. Their goal is to make city life carbon neutral. And, if this lamp is any indication, the results will be gorgeous as well as sustainable.

Spotted on Inhabitat

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DISCUSSION

So, did anyone else notice that this lamp is fluorescent, and not phosphorescent? Essentially, there is a regular old lamp buried in the tank. All that glow is just the light shining through the algae. So this thing is taking light produced...somehow, and filtering it through algae, which will use it for photosynthesis, I guess? You'd need to regularly empty out the tank to get the bound up CO2 out, and the lamp would not be as bright as if it didn't have an algae coating.

This means that unless that lamp is powered by renewable energy like solar or wind or something, these lamps would actually produce more CO2 than they sequester, since the light wouldn't not be as bright.