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.
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.
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.
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.