Photo. SynthEtica Curtain

Photo.Synthetica Curtain featured on BBC News on July 19th 2019

PhotoSynthetica Curtains use the power of algae to absorb carbon dioxide from the air. It demonstrates how biotechnology can become integrated in our cities to help achieve carbon neutrality.

PhotoSynthetica Curtain at Dublin Castle, Dublin.
Study for the biotechnological retrofit of the Irish Revenue and Custom building in Dublin, Ireland.

Conceived as an “urban curtain”, the system captures CO2 from the atmosphere and stores it in real-time: approximately one kilo of CO2 per day, equivalent to that of 20 large trees.

PhotoSynthetica Curtain wrapping the Irish Revenue and Custom building in Dublin, Ireland.
How does PhotoSynthetica Curtain compare with planting tress at carbon sequestration?
How does PhotoSynthetica Curtain works?

The installation on the Irish Revenue and Custom building in Dublin is composed of 16, 2 x 7 metre modules. Each module functions as a photobioreactor, a digitally designed and custom made bioplastic container that utilizes daylight to feed the living micro-algal cultures and releases luminescent shades at night.

PhotoSynthetica Curtain wrapping the House of Nobility palace in Helsinki, Finland.
The urban curtain is made of 100 modules, each containing 10 litres of photosynthetic microalgae.
Comparative incident solar radiation studies on Photo.Synthetica Curtains with various weld patterns.

Unfiltered urban air is introduced at the bottom of the Photo.Synth.Etica façade and, while air bubbles naturally rise through the watery medium within the bioplastic photobioreactors, they come into contact with voracious microbes. CO2 molecules and air pollutants are captured and stored by the algae, and grow into biomass. This can be harvested and employed in the production of bioplastic raw material that constitutes the main building material of the photobioreactors. To culminate the process, freshly photosynthesized oxygen is released at the top of each façade unit of Photo.Synth.Etica, and out into the urban microclimate.

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Project by
ecoLogicStudio (Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto)
Design team
Konstantinos Alexopoulos, Nico Aulitzky, Shlok Soni, Robert Staples, Chrysi Vrantsi, Chia Wei Yang
Structural Engineering
Manja van de Worp (Nous Engineering, USA)
Bioplastic Supply and Manufacturing Support
James Woollard (Polythene, UK)
Microalgae Cultures Supply
Dr. Fiona Moejes (Bantry Marine Research Station, Ireland)