UK Scientists Develop World’s First ‘Biosolar Leaf’ To Purify Air

A pioneering research into enhancing the air quality in White City is being undertaken by Imperial College London in collaboration with startup Arborea.

According to the Imperial College, this is the first time ever that such a technology for air purification is being used. This technology cleans the air through the process of photosynthesis done by microscopic plants. This process removes greenhouse gases from the environment and increases the quantity of healthy breathable oxygen in the air.

A technology for growing of tiny plant-life such as microalgae, diatoms and phytoplankton, on large structures that resemble solar panels has been developed by the stratup Arborea. Those structures, post cultivation of the microalgae can be installed on land, buildings and other developments which would then enhance the quality of the surrounding air. The microalgae absorbs carbon dioxide from the air and adds breathable oxygen through photosynthesis which is equal to the rate of such a process being done a hundred trees using the surface area of just a single tree.

The founder of Arborea is Julian Melchiorri who is an ex-student of the Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art. Funding for the development of an outdoor pilot of their BioSolar Leaf cultivation system of Arborea is being provided by the Imperial College.

The pilot project would be installed on Imperial’s White City Campus South Site.

The pilot project aims to showcase how new and novel technologies can be sued for solving environmental and social issues in real world.

“Air pollution is one of London’s most urgent challenges, and Imperial is committed to finding sustainable and resilient solutions to this threat. This collaboration with Arborea is an exceptional opportunity to showcase the power of Cleantech at our White City Campus. Through our White City masterplan we are bringing forward sustainable solutions that have the potential to improve environmental outcomes in west London, throughout the UK, and across the world,” said Professor Neil Alford, Associate Provost (Academic Planning) at Imperial College London.

“Arborea’s BioSolar leaves are set to revolutionise air quality in London and across the world. Our administration is planning to be the first to put them into our borough as we’re determined Hammersmith & Fulham will lead the way in cleaning our filthy air,” said Arborea’s labsCllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

The aim of founding the sratup Arborea was to address the issue of climate change and taking care of the critical issues linked to the food system, said Julian Melchiorri, Founder and CEO of Arborea. While purifying the air, sustainable healthy food additives would also be produced by the pilot project. The pilot project would be generating oxygen and removing carbon dioxide from the surrounding environment. “It will provide the opportunity to fully harness Arborea’s BioSolar Leaf dual action in real operating conditions and help to unlock the technology’s full potential,” he said.

(Adopted from

Categories: Creativity, Entrepreneurship, Strategy, Sustainability, Uncategorized

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