Rendering from Axel Schoenert Architecture
Ennesys, a Paris-based energy systems company and OriginOil, an American algae harvesting company just unveiled their new urban algae demonstration project in La Defense, near Paris. The revolutionary system harvests energy from algae present in wastewater while filtering the wastewater for use as graywater.
“Algae is the future of clean, inexpensive fuel,” says Pierre Tauzinat, the CEO of Ennesys. This cutting-edge urban algae system grows algae in photobioreactors made of polycarbonate using only light, wastewater and CO2. These flat-paneled algae harversters are mounted on the building’s façade and have the added benefit of acting as an effective insulation system, keeping out the heat of the summer and the chill of the winter.
Once the algae is fully grown, it is harvested using OriginOil’s Algae Appliance and processed into biomass that has nearly the same energy potential as coal and is used to run the building’s systems. Because the process uses no chemicals, the extracted water can be used again in the process and eventually, when it’s completely depleted of nitrates, it can be used as graywater to flush the building’s toilets.
France has adopted a strict environmental policy called RT202 that calls for a 20% reduction in the country’s energy consumption by 2020 and an increase in the use of renewable energy by 20% by 2020. To achieve its 2020 goals, France requires buildings to generate more energy than they use and to process wastewater instead of dumping it into the city’s municipal sewage system. Riggs Eckleberry, the CEO of OriginOil, believes that his new system in collaboration with Ennesys is just the answer to these regulations, declaring that “algae is the perfect solution for both creating energy and cleaning up sewage water.”