Gallery: READER TIP: PhotoBioReactor Sculpture by BIOS


BIOS Design Collective is a working group of academic and professional designers “exploring the application of biological patterns to architecture.” The latest project to pull natural science into the built environment is the PhotoBioReactor Sculpture by Charles Lee. Part sculpture, part renewable fuel factory and part bio-remediation plant, the design brings artistic, yet functional, forms into the landscape to inspire the imagination.

A photobioreactor is a closed or semi-closed system in which light and nutrients are supplied to the system in an attempt to maximize algal biomass. Nutrients can be in the form of pollutants, so the sculpture can facilitate bio-remediation. It can also use CO2, reducing greenhouse gases.The algae can than be used to generate biodiesel. In this proposal the biodiesel could be used to run the machinery and vehicles that maintain the park.

These photobioreactors are designed in a sculptural manner to add an eye catching feature to the park setting. It consists of an aluminum carriage which has a continuous spiraling tube that cascades from top to bottom. The work could be lighted at night to create a beautiful evening experience powered by a solar array and batteries. The bioreactor towers are attached to a harvesting machine which would extract the algae biomass.

+ Charles Lee Bios Design Collective


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  1. phycotech October 19, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Phycotech also involves in photobioreactor technology to produce algae biomass. But i would really appreciate if you could provide some advance information about photobioreactor technology.

  2. lilliesbloom March 10, 2009 at 11:44 am

    I find this pretty unique and interesting and rather helpfull… I was looking for new ideas on algae remediation and this is something that certainly has caught my sight. I would like to have more information on how it works or how efficient it is at this point. Is it posible?
    My congratulations from Peru!

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