Algae Lamps Are A Step In The Right Direction

Sustainability Jul 13, 2016 No Comments

Over the past few years, algae has received lots of attention for it’s potential as a source of energy. These simple photosynthetic microorganisms have lived on earth for billions of years, and according to seasoned scientists, they can be very useful to humans in a number of ways.

A lot of research is being carried out on algae which means that more uses of these microorganisms could be discovered in the future. But Pierre Calleja seems to have achieved a milestone when it comes to putting algae into a good use. The French biochemist has developed an algae lamp that can draw large quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere and use it to produce light.

These claims were made back in 2012, either the lamps are still in development or they did not meet up to the claims…

Calleja claims that the innovative lighting system can absorb 200-times more greenhouse gas than trees, and has estimated the absorption rate at 1-ton per year. The biochemist has used certain types of algae that absorbs more sunlight & organic carbon, and turn them into carbohydrates energy and oxygen- the latter being a waste product. The most interesting thing about the system is that it doesn’t require electricity to function.

Calleja’s lighting system basically consists of a massive tank filled with water and algae. It also features a light and battery system. As to how it functions, the algae absorb sunlight during the day to produce energy which is then stored in the battery.

The stored energy is used to power the light at night. The biochemist argues that lack of sunlight is not a drawback in keeping the system working. This is true because the algae can also use carbon to produce energy. The lamp can therefore be installed where there is no natural light and still function.

algae-lampsThere is no doubt that the key ingredient of this eco-friendly light is algae. As described above, the microorganisms are critically involved in the production of energy using either sunlight or organic carbon. The best thing about using the latter is that ozone layer depletion is minimized and global warming reduced.

Some questions have emerged concerning the maintenance of the algae lamp. There are questions about whether or not the water needs to be changed every now and then. According to the biochemist, the water doesn’t have to be changed frequently as algae can survive in dirtier water. During a water change, the algae can act as a biofuel benefiting the user even more.

For people who want to install algae lamps in their home or on business premises, it is recommended for them to use micro-algae that is bred specifically to draw carbon emissions from the atmosphere. By doing this, they will benefit from more light energy and contribute in saving the environment.

The Calleja’s algae lamp is expected to be applied in a number of areas. It will definitely be a great inclusion in a backyard or garden where it will provide light and act as a landscaping feature. The excess stored power can be used to charge phones & laptops and power desktops & TVs, among other appliances. People who already have water features in their yards can develop algae lamps from them. The lamp’s developer believes that the system can help homes cut down electric bills.
The lighting system is also expected to find its way in streets, as a streetlight. A city or town council can save a lot on energy when using these lamps instead of the conventional electric lamps. A large-scale system consisting of massive water tanks would be required to power up streetlights.

If the algae lamp is adopted worldwide and used intensively, it can greatly reduce the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. As mentioned above, the lighting system can absorb much more CO2 compared to trees. This means that the system can act as a carbon sink, with algae scrubbing out the gas in the air and breaking it down into harmless products.

The eco-friendly lamp can therefore be a great way to reduce the greenhouse effect, keep the ozone layer safer and reduce global warming. Effects of global warming such as climate change and rising sea levels can also be reduced by the Calleja’s lighting system. So, this is a very advantageous lamp, with its benefits ranging from lighting houses to protecting the environment.

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