The project Fermentalg, led by French biochemist Pierre Calleja, has developed a fascinating eco-friendly lamp that can not only bring light to dark spaces but also cut CO2 emissions and produce Oxygen while at it. The Microalgae lamp is a completely electricity-free lamp that is powered by a tube filled with glowing green algae.
The lamp, which stores the energy from the photosynthesis of the algae, can glow without the need for any external power source. By using the power of the algae’s photosynthesis process, the lamp can power light from within. This process also helps clean the air of CO2 and produce Oxygen as any regular plant’s photosynthesis process. The only difference is that at the same time it produces light.
It is thought that a single lamp can absorb up to a ton of carbon dioxide from the air in just one year, that is around 150 to 200 times the amount of CO2 that one tree absorbs in the same period. One of the first lamps was located in a parking lot in Bordeaux, a place that serves as a perfect example due to its high level of pollution and low level of light. In the future, these lamps could be installed along highways, city streets or even homes.
“We could have these everywhere, the effect on CO2 would be massive, even more so than forests. My dream would be to go to people’s homes and see the Microalgae lamp, that would be great” says the inventor of the lamp that absorbs CO2, Pierre Calleja.
Yet a lamp that absorbs CO2 is not the only application that the team at FermentAlg has found to microalgae. Microalgae can also be used to feed animals or people,it can serve as a main component in natural cosmetics and it can also serve as one of the highest sources of Omega 3 oil. The team at FermentAlg has even figured out how to produce biofuel from algae.
As Pierre Calleja explains in his TEDx talk, Microalgae’s are unicellular organisms that are half animals and half plants. They are thought to have appeared in our planet over 4 billion years ago, back when there was no life or oxygen in our planet. As he explains, it’s because of microalgae that we nowadays have plants and life on our planet.