Biosolar leaves are being tested in London, which purify the air 100 times more efficiently than living trees

Imperial College London is launching a partnership with startup Arborea to transform campus buildings into an experimental man-made forest. The goal is to test the technology of "biosolar leaves" in real conditions and on a large scale. They are analogous to woody foliage and are designed to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Technically speaking, biosolar sheets are simply colonies of phytoplankton and microalgae, whose metabolism is based on photosynthesis. They are located on panels that have a control system similar to solar panels - they unfold after the light source. The panels will be installed on all vacant areas of the buildings on the campus.

The idea is that microalgae, when exposed to sunlight, will absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen into the atmosphere, and protein will be a byproduct. Moreover, it can be made edible or used as fertilizer - if appropriate genetic modifications are made. Panels with microorganisms are easy to change, they can be removed during the winter cold, they do not require complex maintenance. The result will be passive air purification and oxygenation.

According to the calculations of the authors of Arborea, a set of biosolar panels with an area of ​​the foliage of one tree absorbs as much carbon dioxide as a whole grove of hundreds of living trees. And this process does not require energy consumption, for example, for pumping air through filters. If the project shows good results, the next stage will try to equip the roofs of all municipal structures in London with such devices.