New Algae-based Bioreactor Can Swallow Carbon Emissions 400 Times Faster Than Trees
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New Algae-based Bioreactor Swallow Carbon Emissions 400 Times Faster Than Trees

The Bioreactor uses algae and artificial intelligence to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

People are worried about the quantities of CO2 that are being pumped into our atmosphere. Since the early 1800s, researchers have known that greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap heat which causes the effect known as global warming. carbon dioxide is a particularly big contributor to global warming. carbon dioxide is created as a result of the burning of fuels like oil and natural gas and carbon dioxide makes up the overwhelming majority of greenhouse gas emissions which represents around 72% of the total when compared to 18% methane and 9% nitrous oxide.

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The quantity of these carbon emissions as a result of human activity has increased by more than 400% since the year 1950. Even though the effects of climate change are already seen worldwide, many experts and researchers around the world contend that things will get worse as Carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise. Something needs to be done to control these carbon emissions.

One way to slow down this emission effect is something called the biosequestration which refers to the capture and storage of CO2 using certain biological processes. This process is an extension of photosynthesis, in which plants, such as trees, use energy from the sun to turn CO2 into oxygen. An A.I. company from Austin thinks that it has come up with a way to make this process significantly more efficient. This involves a combination of cutting-edge A.I and algae, the group of photosynthetic organisms or a plant-like film that covers ponds and other bodies of water.

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Ben Lamm the CEO of Hypergiant Industries, told Digital Trends that they believe one of the biggest challenges of our time is the current crisis of global warming; they wanted to figure out if trees were actually the best solution for this or if there were other effective alternatives for this. It turns out that algae are actually much more effective than trees at reducing carbon emissions in the atmosphere. It can be used to create carbon-negative fuels, plastics, textiles, food, fertilizer and much more. Algae and A.I. was used to create the Eos Bioreactor which is a prototype bioreactor which can substantially outperform trees by up to four hundred times.

Algae is one of nature’s one of the most efficient machines for carbon dioxide consumption. It needs 3 key elements to grow: carbon dioxide, light, and water. As algae consume carbon dioxide, it produces biomass; that can then be processed to create materials which range from fuels, fertilizers, and oils to plastics, cosmetics, and even high-protein food sources. It can not only far exceed the efficiency of agricultural crops in terms of carbon sequestration, but algae also don’t compete for the same arable land. This makes it a doubly good solution next to space-occupying forests.

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Lamm explained that this device is a controlled closed system model and every part of the growth process is tightly controlled and are optimized with machine intelligence to maximize carbon dioxide consumption. Artificial intelligence monitors light, heat, growth, water speed, pH, Carbon dioxide, oxygen output and more to ensure optimal growing conditions, he added.

Hypergiant isn’t the first time scientists have focused on algae as a potential game-changer for carbon sequestration. This bioreactor promises not only aims to make these abilities very smarter, courtesy of machine learning technology but also to pack its solution into a disarmingly small form factor. This bioreactor fits within a compact form factor measuring three-foot by three-foot by seven-foot. That is small enough that it could fit within office buildings.

Lamm stressed that this is still early stages for his project. And the company has not yet announced where its solution will initially be deployed. For now, he says that he has focused on showing that the technology can work as well as hyped. There are some big claims too. But, as people often note about climate changes, it is a big problem that calls for big solutions. Hypergiant has already attracted some major supporters, with the most public being vocal climate science supporter Bill Nye.

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The Eos algae-based bioreactor sequesters the same amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as an entire acre of trees, Lamm said. He added that they are a technology company that makes A.I. products and solutions and wants to create products that improve the human condition. They feel responsible for developing solutions which can help businesses and people make a real difference in their communities.

This remains to be seen whether it turns out to be the solution that people are hoping for. Certainly, it is not an innovative attempt to suck carbon dioxide out of the air that Digital Trends has covered. Here no-one is going to complain about there being too many people trying to solve these issues of global warming and increasing carbon emissions.

For the sake of humanity, let us hope that Hypergiant Industries and the other groups working on similar technologies are onto a winner.

Ria Roy completed her Post Grad degree at the Visvesvaraya Technological University. She has a great grounding in the skills, including technical, analytical and research skills. She is a motivated life science professional with experience of working in famous research institutes