Effort to purify air through photosynthesis

Imperial College London will work with a company to develop new technology that can purify the air through the photosynthesis of microscopic plants, removing greenhouse gases from the environment whilst generating breathable oxygen.

The so called “BioSolar Leaf” is an innovative cultivation system which facilitates the growth of tiny plants, such as microalgae, diatoms and phytoplankton, on structures similar to large solar panel. The structures can then be installed on land, buildings and other developments to improve surrounding air quality, according to the college.

The cultivation system can remove carbon dioxide and produce breathable oxygen at a rate equivalent to a hundred trees from the surface area of just a single tree, according to the team.

The system is developed by Arborea which was founded by alumnus of the college. The college will be providing the company with funding to facilitate the development of an outdoor pilot of their BioSolar Leaf cultivation system on the college’s White City Campus South Site in London.