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Biotech Science

Biochemist Creates CO2-Eating Light That Runs On Algae 121

An anonymous reader writes "Biochemist Pierre Calleja has a solution to reducing carbon emissions that doesn't require us to cut back on our use of carbon-producing devices. Calleja has developed a lighting system that requires no electricity for power. Instead it draws CO2 from the atmosphere and uses it to produce light as well as oxygen as a byproduct. The key ingredient to this eco-friendly light? Algae. Certain types of algae can feed off of organic carbon as well as sunlight, and in the process produce carbohydrate energy for themselves as well as oxygen as a waste product. Cajella's lamps consist of algae-filled water along with a light and battery system. During the day the algae produce energy from sunlight that is then stored in the batteries. Then at night the energy is used to power the light. However, as the algae can also produce energy from carbon, sunlight isn't required for the process to work. That means such lights can be placed where there is no natural light and the air will effectively be cleaned on a daily basis."
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Biochemist Creates CO2-Eating Light That Runs On Algae

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  • by UPZ ( 947916 ) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @05:16PM (#39910357)
    The point is, if the article's assertions (as I understood) were to be true, then we have free energy:

    1) Burn carbon + oxygen --> CO2 + light (we currently do this)
    2) CO2 --> carbon/carbohydrates + oxygen + light (this is proposed by the new algae based system)
    3) Rise and repeat ...... (unlimited free light = unlimited free energy)

    Something's gotta give here...
  • by zrbyte ( 1666979 ) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @05:46PM (#39910505)

    I think this is just bad journalism. I suppose the lamp uses electricity to give light to the algae, which use this to store CO2 in carbohydrates. Not a very brilliant idea. If it was that brilliant we'd be reading about it from Nature or Science and not geek.com

  • Re:Mars? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Fluffeh ( 1273756 ) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @08:31PM (#39911487)

    atmosphere consisting of over 95% carbon dioxide

    It might be made up of interesting stuff for plants, but it is exceptionally sparse. At surface level (even at the lowest point) it is a mere 0.1675 psi where earth has a sea level pressure of around 14.69 psi. This leads plants to do some funny things. NASA has been experimenting with plants and low pressures for a while now but it isn't going all that well - the plants think there is a drought [nasa.gov] when the low pressure basically sucks all the moisture from them - even if they are hydrated very well.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers