Microalgae can reduce pollution and be used as biofuel

Microalgae are being used as materials to reduce environmental pollution and create new-generation biofuels.

Microalgae can retain 70-80 percent of CO2 emitted from motorbike exhaust pipes. Algae filter membranes also can be used as decoration, and can prevent water from penetrating exhaust pipes during flooding, according to Tran Gia Linh from the HCM City Economics – Law University, representing Bitbo, the team of students developing algae filter membranes to absorb CO2 from motorbikes.

Microalgae can reduce pollution and be used as biofuel



The HCM City Transport Department reported that there are 7.5 million motorbikes in circulation in the city, or 1 motorbike for every 1.5 persons. Motorcycles emit 94 percent of hydrogen carbon, 87 percent of carbon and 57 percent of nitrous oxide of total emissions from motor vehicles.

If the Bitbo project is deployed in HCM City, it will help reduce one-third of the total CO2 volume of the city. The solution was recognized by UNICEF as the most daring idea at UPSHIFT 2019 competition. The organization decided to incubate the project for three months with the initial financial support of $1,000.

Microalgae are being used as materials to reduce environmental pollution and create new-generation biofuels.

Prior to that, a group of students from the Hanoi University of Science and Technology also used microalgae to design an indoor air filtration system.

 


“You just need to plug in and put the product at the corner of your room to enjoy fresh air. It can also be lighting equipment,” said Nguyen Tan Lap, a representative of the group.

The total expense for one product is VND12 million.

The product was introduced six months ago and to date the inventors are still trying to upgrade it by integrating IoT and algae so as to automatically monitor the air quality in room and control the development of algae through smartphones. Meanwhile, the product still has not been commercialized.

In the world, using microalgae to purify the air has become quite common in the last five years with many advanced technologies, such as carbon wells in France, Mexican artificial plants and common devices like microalgae air purifiers and micro algae lights. Meanwhile, the biomass created from microalgae in the air purification device has been used to make fuel oil.

In Vietnam, Nguyen Thi Thanh Xuan from the Da Nang University of Science and Technology in 2012 successfully used microalgae biomass to generate fuel oil.

“Every one kilogram of dry algae will be enough to create one liter of biodiesel and three kilograms of algae residues will yield three liters of bio oil,” Xuan said.

The use of microalgae as a raw material for biofuel production is an effective solution with double benefit, which both mitigate air pollution and create clean energy for the community.

Linh Ha

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