Microalgae have recognized properties in many new fields. From lighting to home heating, from air pollution control to the manufacture of biofuel, plastics or even cosmetics, algae have many surprises in store for us! We take advantage of this file to reveal all their secrets.
Follow us today to find out how algae can be used in your home to limit your environmental impact!
MICROALGAE FOR HEATING
Imagine a building where 100% of the heating needs and 50% of the hot water would be provided by spirulina. Well, this building exists. Built in 2013 in Hamburg, it has, on its facade of 200m2 tanks containing spirulina, photobioreactors,
Thanks to the composition of the culture medium (nutrients andCO2) and the sun exposure of the facade, the micro-algae develop in a significant way and carry out their photosynthesis activity in complete peace. The heat released by their growth as well as that of the sun is then sent to a heat exchanger in the basement of the building to heat the domestic and sanitary water. The hot water recovered in this way covers 100% of the building's domestic heating needs and 50% of the running hot water. The remaining 50% is produced by a heat pump. However, microalgae are living organisms that are sensitive to both low and high temperatures, so a device to protect the microalgae from extreme weather conditions is planned.
Unfortunately, this type of building is currently very expensive to build, but in the long term, the engineers in charge of this type of project hope to be able to reduce their cost.
PAINTING IN "GREEN
Let's stay in the field of construction with a Breton company that uses microalgae, these natural and renewable components, to produce paint.
These algae-based products contribute to the quality of the air in homes thanks to their low emission of volatile organic compounds. These VOCs are toxic compounds present at less than 1 g/liter in algae-based paint, compared to values that can reach 100 g/liter for traditional paints.
This innovation from renewable resources that honors the respect of the environment and short circuits has received many French and European awards.
PLASTIC WITHOUT PLASTIC
Plastic is one of the most time-consuming wastes to decompose when it is thrown into nature. As an example, a PET bottle takes 100 to 1000 years to disappear, even creating a 7th continent of plastic in the middle of the Pacific. This pile of waste represents a real environmental problem and contributes to the depletion of marine biodiversity.
Thanks to mechanical and thermal treatments, it is possible to manufacture plastic from algae grown without pesticides or fertilizers and using very little water. The objects resulting from this technology are biodegradable. After 12 weeks in the ground, the object disappears by playing a role of natural fertilizer. As a bonus, this material is easier to work with than traditional plastic pellets and does not require investment in special equipment. The uses of this type of plastic are endless, from eyeglass frames to flower pots to reusable cups, algae can already be used in your home.
In the near future, algae will be able to contribute to improve the energy performance of your home. They will also be part of your daily life by limiting the pollution of the ambient air while limiting the ecological impact of the manufacture and recycling of plastics.