HOW TO – Make a photo bio reactor

Energy & Sustainability Science
HOW TO – Make a photo bio reactor

Here’s how to make a a photo bio reactor (artificial environment for photosynthetic organisms) that will slurp C02 from the air –

I have wanted to do this a project for a long time and with earth day this year it kinda just fit timing wise. Its really a simple and quick build, yet getting the level up in bio-friendly-geek makes this all the more fun…once we get a good strong colony established we will be doing some testing of the amount of carbon these can remove from our environment with a C02 PPM meter. – Photo Bio Reactor – Overview – Link.

16 thoughts on “HOW TO – Make a photo bio reactor

  1. rrando says:

    Your experiment demonstrates the validity of the concept, not necessarily the practicality of it… Great idea and good job, though. Others will point out (as you did) that the wood and acrylic (made from oil or coal) you used probably results in far, far more carbon ultimately being released than you can sequester. Various proposals have been made to grow some species of plant, then “permanently” or at least over a time span of centuries remove the carbon and sequester it (some proposals use the deep ocean which if the carbon is not recycled back to the atmosphere could store it for as much as 1000 years).

  2. _fluffy says:

    Also don’t forget the ongoing environmental impact of the power it takes to run this thing.

  3. philliptorrone says:

    …and all the power for servers to post it, and the digital cameras needs to be made to make photos, and all the internets to get the data around, power to make the chairs we sit in, cars to get us there, fuel for that – the impact is huge.

    but maybe someone learned something and might work on solutions in this world to make it a better place, or we can also just give up.

    discuss the options here :)

  4. Tinkergirl says:

    @_fluffy: The pumps are powered by a solar panel, so the running energy seems to be negligible.

    In general, a very cool project. Much too big/complex for me to attempt right now, but I’m looking forwards to see just how much CO2 it eats. Good luck!

  5. DocAllen says:

    This is an interesting project, somewhere in Arizona they are already doing somthing like it, but on larger scale. The CO2 comes from a natural gas power plant. Check out the History Channels “modern marvels green tech.”
    The next step is to take the algae, and submit it to heat and pressure to make a synthetic form of oil. Question can you grow a form of algae that tastes good, or be made to taste good? You might be able to raise algae in the appartus as a scaleable farm. Or perhaps an algae that can be fermented into alcohol? This process might serve to make food, produce fuel, or even a servicable vodka.
    Who knows perhaps a martian colony would find this incredibly useful. They’re atmosphere is around 30% CO2.

  6. jcreeg says:

    If it isn’t too off topic, wouldn’t an open-air algae source (fed by let’s say effluent or gray water) consume some measurable amount of CO2 from the atmosphere without the generation of more CO2, or the necessity of aeration?

  7. jcreeg says:

    … also to add, does anyone here understand if there is a feasible possibility of running the grow lights off of the acidity of the plant water itself? Kinda like one of those potato alarm clocks.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What is the function of Photobioreactors?

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