Algae on street lamps does not usually make sense. But for several years now Pierre Calleja, a french biochemist, has been developing a street lamp that feeds on vast amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere. What is more amazing is that it is more efficient than trees, tests shows that each lamp absorbs a 150 to 200 times from CO2 than a tree.
Pierre Calleja, is a biochemist and founder of Fermentalg, a French industrial biotechnology company which specializes in the production of chemical compounds from microalgae.
The algae lamps are like massive tanks filled with water and microalgae. The algae lamp would absorb light during the day, through the process of photosynthesis, generating electricity which charges the battery of the self-contained unit. The microalgae within the lamp absorbs up to one (1) ton of CO2 in a year. To put into comparison, a 50-year-old American elm tree absorbs about 123 pounds of CO2 a year.
In the perfect scenario, the algae lamps would provide dual duty by providing emissions-free light while cleaning the air of carbon dioxide. The technology that can making the algae lamp self-sustaining through the electricity generated by the microalgae still needs a lot of research and testing. But only using the microalgae’s absorbing capabilities should still be very significant in our fight against climate change. Attaching an ordinary electric LED light with it would have non-significant carbon footprint compared to the amount the microalgae is able to absorb.