In the bid to look for cleaner fuel alternatives, a tech company from Austin has come up with a unique solution. They have designed an ingenious bioreactor that utilizes algae to convert CO2 into oxygen. And not just any small amount. It can put out nearly 2 tons of oxygen each year- a feat achieved by 400 trees!
Hypergiant Industries used artificial intelligence to develop the Eos Bioreactor. The AI optimizes carbon capture, algae growth and output. Algae is 400x better than trees when it comes to sequestering carbon. Hence the bioreactor can manage to give outputs equaling that of one acre of trees.
The Hypergiant website explains the uses of algae and how they have managed to utilize this superorganism to create this bioreactor. Algae is a single-celled organism that can multiply very fast by absorbing sunlight and CO2. Since it does not need too many nutrients to sustain itself, algae grows nearly in every place. So, the developers don’t have to worry about the lack of resources for the bioreactor.
AI helped them further improve the efficiency of the reactor. The algae bioreactor can use autonomous health monitoring. That means it is aware of its surroundings and reacts to it accordingly. The algae bioreactor has the ability to constantly monitor the type and amount of sunlight, and CO2 available. Other components like PH, temperature, bio density are also taken into account to create an optimal environment where the carbon sequestration is maximized.
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The algae in the reactor consume CO2 and produce biomass. The develops can harvest this biomass and process it to create oils, fuel, fertilizers, cosmetics, and many other products.
The compact algae bioreactor is 3 by 3 feet wide. Its compactness further adds to its usefulness since most modern bioreactors are quite large.
Hypergiant Industries plans on releasing the blueprints of the algae reactor to the online community to empower individuals. The plan is to release the details so that everyone can create similar modular devices that can be used in houses. They also plan to use recycled ocean plastics in order to make these devices. They hope other developers too will utilize such resources in developing their prototypes. The company will be providing further details of the productization in 2020.
Hypergiant Industries founder and CEO, Ben Lamm explains how their goal is to utilize the best technologies from around the world to solve our biggest problems. The impact of excess carbon in the atmosphere is becoming more and more apparent with each passing day. Natural catastrophes are pushing humans towards space colonization. Lamm wants humans to explore space to better understand it, not just as an option to escape our own planet. He hopes this product and many others from Hypergiant will help fix the planet first before running off for space colonization.