Entire Building Is Powered By Its Algae-Filled Walls

Algae may still be years away as a source for road and jet fuel. But could it power whole buildings before long?

If you think that’s crazy, then look at this recently completed five-story residential building in Hamburg. It is covered by panels filled with algae, a fast-growing form of biomass. The building pumps water, nutrients, and compressed CO2 between 129 bioreactors. When the sun shines, the algae multiplies as a result of photosynthesis. The system collects the residue, then converts it to biogas, which is burned in a boiler. Together with a heat recovery system and solar panels on the roof, the building is completely energy independent, according to its creators.

The panels are 98 inches by 28 inches, 0.78 inches thick, and cover about 2,150 square feet, on two south-facing sides. Known as the BIK, the building, which has 15 apartments, is an entry to the International Building Exhibition and was completed last month. It will open to the public soon — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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