Children's play centre uses algae to clean the air

The London-based organization EcoLogicStudio designed a children's play centre called AirBubble that uses algae in solar-powered bioreactors to remove pollutants from the air.

Solar energy powers photosynthesis by which algae split carbon dioxide into carbon, which it uses to feed, and oxygen, which it releases into the room. On the other hand, the children's play activates machinery that moves liquid through the bioreactors, ensuring proper aeration.

According to the designer, the system can filter up to 200 litres of air per minute and purify the entire structure in less than 24h, driving pollution levels down to within World Health Organization guidelines. 

Moreover, this process transforms pollutants into biomass, a raw material for bioplastics, food supplements, natural cosmetics and more. So, we ultimately end up with usable byproducts instead of waste.

Why does it matter? EcoLogicStudio chose to install AirBubble in Warsaw, Poland, one of the most polluted cities in Europe, to educate people about air quality in a playful way. Indeed, the link between urban air quality, respiratory health and public well-being has become more evident during Covid, and tackling this issue is crucial for our future. Also, the organization wants to inspire future generations to find innovative solutions for our current problems.

What can we do? 

  • In urban areas, most of our trips are less than a few kilometres long. Using public transportation, biking or walking for these trips can go a long way to reducing pollution. 
  • Using an electric vehicle is also highly effective. Indeed, thermic cars are particularly suboptimal for short travels involving many stops.
  • Also, studies showed that planting tiny forests in cities can improve biodiversity, air quality and even our well-being. As citizens of these cities, we can vote and advocate to move these initiatives forward.

Whoever spends time with kids realizes that they are an inextinguishable source of energy. This fantastic project leverages this energy to provide our children with a pure atmosphere and educate them on the importance of air quality.