An ingenious new bioreactor has just been designed that uses algae to capture and process carbon from the atmosphere.
Developed by the Austin-based tech company Hypergiant Industries, the Eos Bioreactor uses AI to optimize algae growth, carbon capture, and algae output. Since algae is 400 times better at sequestering carbon than trees, the bioreactor is able to process about two tons of oxygen in a year, which is about the same as an acre of trees.
The Hypergiant website states that algae is a single-celled organism that is “considered one of nature’s most efficient machines” because of its ability to multiply rapidly through the absorption of sunlight and carbon dioxide. On top of that, it can be grown almost anywhere and requires very few nutrients to survive.
The designers were able to use machine intelligence to improve the efficiency of their design to use autonomous health monitoring for a machine that is aware of (and can react to) its surroundings. The bioreactor is always managing and monitoring the amount and type of light, available CO2, temperature, PH, biodensity, harvest cycles, and more. This allows the reactor to create the perfect environment to maximize carbon sequestration.
While the algae consumes CO2, it also produces biomass, which is then harvested and processed to create fuel, oils, nutrient-rich high-protein food sources, fertilizers, plastics, cosmetics, and more. Hypergiant is now hoping to focus on the use of recycled ocean plastics to create the devices and encourages the community to do so as well
“Our goal at Hypergiant Industries is to use the world’s best technologies to solve the world’s biggest problems,” said Hypergiant CEO and founder, Ben Lamm.
“Excess carbon in our atmosphere is driving a number of massive catastrophes for our planet and pushing us to get off planet and colonize space. I want humanity to colonize space because I want to explore the cosmos to better understand our place within it—I don’t want us to colonize space because we are running away from our home planet. This device is one of our first efforts focused on fixing the planet we are on.”