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Portable Algae-Powered ‘Chlorella’ Pods Could Provide Fresh Air in Polluted Cities
By now you’ve probably already heard about (or even visited) “oxygen bars” – a phenomenon that first saw the light of day in 1996 in Toronto, Canada. Now imagine a future where you could enter portable pavilions with air purified by algae. Designed by Ádám Miklósi, Chlorella combines algae photosynthesis with oxygen therapy to create a fresh air oasis for future urban environments.
The ‘Chlorella’ concept is a response to the environmental challenges that we are facing already and what the future might hold for humanity. Statistics from the World Health Organization show that 60% of the earth’s population will live in big cities in 2030, and maintaining good air quality will pose an increasing challenge. The Amazonian rainforest is also expected to decrease in size by 55% by 2030 due to deforestation, in turn leading to 55-97 billion tons of unabsorbed carbon-dioxide pollution.
The project lends inspiration from the Russian ‘CELSS’ (Controlled Ecological Life Support System) study in which chlorella algaes were used to recycle exhaled Co2 from humans into necessary oxygen. The algaes replenished the air with oxygen through photosynthesis supported by artificial lighting.
The structure utilizes semi-transparent teflon membranes to create a ‘semi-disconnection’ from the outside world by reducing noise, voices, and visual impressions. The pavilion acts as an urban shelter against outside air pollution. The heart of the design is a series of photobioreactors which consist of a network of transparent plastic tubes. The photobioreactors are filled with 5 cubic meters of air-purifying, oxygen-producing algae.
In the center of the space there is an algae fountain surrounded by ten rail-bound relaxation chairs placed in a circular fashion. Artificial lighting is supported by solar panels placed on top of the pavilion to keep energy use to a minimum.
Users can change the position of the chairs by moving them along the rail to create a social or secluded personal space, and they can choose to gaze inwards to the algae fountain or out to the vibrant city life on the outside.
Images © Ádám Miklósi
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