- Title: Algae bioreactor 'captures same CO2 as an acre of trees'
- Date: 23rd October 2019
- Summary: LOGO ON FRONT OF BIOREACTOR
- Embargoed: 6th November 2019 11:09
- Keywords: Hypergiant Industries prototype bioreactor algae carbon-sequestration Eos Bioreactor Dan Haab Director of Research and Development algae bioreactor
- Location: AUSTIN, TEXAS, UNITED STATES / VIDRARU, ROMANIA / DHAKA, BANGLADESH / LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- City: AUSTIN, TEXAS, UNITED STATES / VIDRARU, ROMANIA / DHAKA, BANGLADESH / LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- Country: USA
- Topics: Pollution,Environment
- Reuters ID: LVA002B2BJJH7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: AUDIO AS INCOMING
A U.S.-based tech startup is using algae to play what could be an important role in the fight against climate change.
Hypergiant Industries says it has designed a prototype bioreactor that uses the aquatic organisms to capture and process carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The company says its algae-based carbon-sequestration device is 400 times more effective than trees, meaning one small 3ft-wide cube can capture as much carbon as an acre of trees.
Its device, called the Eos Bioreactor, also uses artificial intelligence to optimize algae growth.
"Our Eos reactor... is 400 times more effective at pulling CO2 out of the air than trees. And that means that roughly an acre of trees is offset by this one small reactor," said Dan Haab, Hypergiant's Director of Research and Development.
The bioreactor constantly monitors and manages the amount and type of light available, and the temperature, to create optimal conditions to maximize carbon sequestration.
"(Algae) takes in CO2, it lives in water and it reproduces. And so the more you can figure out how to optimize for those environmental factors, the more CO2 you're going to be pulling out of the air because the more algae you're going to be growing," Haab added.
The system works indoors, connecting with an HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) system, and is intended for use in office environments.
Algae thrive on CO2 emissions, and the company says this makes it one of nature's most efficient tools for carbon capture and sequestration.
As algae consumes CO2, it produces biomass. This biomass can then be harvested and processed to create fuel, oils, high-protein food sources, fertilizers and plastics, the company said.
The company is still some way off offering a commercial product -- but it will make the designs for the bioreactor available to the public in the hope it can inspire others to design similar solutions.
(Production: Edward Baran)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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