With the power of 5,000 plants; 8-foot-tall exhibit installed in baggage claim as latest project of PIT xBridge Innovation Center.
PITTSBURGH — The xBridge at Pittsburgh International Airport and AlgenAir have teamed up for cleaner, more sustainable air purification – and it’s powered by algae.
AlgenAir Inc., creators of the aerium® consumer natural air purifier, recently scaled their patent-pending technology to build their first commercial-sized version known as aerium Living Technology. While the consumer product can reduce carbon dioxide and increase oxygen as effectively as 25 plants, the commercial size in the airport is expected to have the photosynthetic capacity of over 5,000 plants.
This installation is a project facilitated by Pittsburgh International Airport’s xBridge Innovation Center, the airport’s tech proving ground for technologies and startups that solve for needs in the industry and beyond. Drawing from the region’s strong innovation economy, the airport is a proof-of-concept site for technologies in a real-world operating environment as well as a pilot site for companies’ first deployments.
“The xBridge at PIT is representative of Pittsburgh’s thriving tech economy,” said Cole Wolfson, xBridge Director. “We’re excited to partner with AlgenAir on the proof-of-concept for aerium Living Technology as we work to increase clean energy and decarbonization options.”
The algae grown in this system is spirulina (Arthrospira platensis). It can be recycled in downstream applications such as fertilizer, composting, nutrition, pigments, bio plastics, or even biofuels. The installation is expected to stay in the airport through the end of the year.
“This is an exciting step for AlgenAir. The aerium Living Technology will enable building owners to improve indoor air quality without sacrificing energy efficiency,” said co-founder and CTO Dan Fucich.
The aerium was installed Monday afternoon in baggage claim to coincide with the Global Clean Energy Action Forum, which begins Sept. 21, bringing thousands of energy leaders, academics and government officials from around the world to Pittsburgh, to discuss pressing issues such as climate change, energy security and decarbonization.
The company plans to do several pilots in various locations throughout the Pittsburgh region before launching the commercial unit for sale in 2024.
Aerium Living Technology details
– The aerium Living Technology stands approximately 8 feet tall and holds over 100 gallons of spirulina (Arthrospira platensis)
– This unit has the photosynthetic capacity of more than 5,000 plants to reduce carbon dioxide accumulation indoors and produce oxygen
– Algae grown in the system will be recycled as fertilizer for plants in and around the airport
About AlgenAir Inc.
AlgenAir was co-founded in 2018 by Kelsey Abernathy, Ph.D. and Dan Fucich, Ph.D. The company recently moved from Baltimore to Pittsburgh to scale manufacturing in the U.S. AlgenAir’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of building occupants through its living technology platform. This platform combines biology and engineering in an elegant design to address problems caused by our modern built environment.
Launched in 2020, xBridge is Pittsburgh International Airport’s proving ground for technologies and startups that solve for needs in today’s airport and industry as well as tests and incubates strategic technologies that could be deployed in the future. The proof-of-concept and pilot site showcases new technologies in a real-world operating environment. The xBridge is designed to capitalize on and grow the region’s powerful tech economy right at the airport for the aviation industry and beyond. xBridge has partnered with firms ranging from global Fortune 500 companies to local start-ups for projects that have tackled air purification, deployed robotic floor scrubbers and applied artificial intelligence to security wait times.
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