This Mexican Startup claims to have developed a technology which can purify air equivalent to that of 368 trees AKA Artificial Trees.
Trees are the natural and most important air purifiers. They absorb the carbon-di-oxide present in nature and convert it into pure oxygen, the survival fuel of humans. However, the number of trees have been depleting due to increased immigration, population explosion, increasing industries. These factors consume a lot of green cover as a raw material. Moreover, these are the same factors which are also responsible for harmful emissions in the environment at an increasing pace.
With the decreasing natural air purifiers and increasing air pollution, there is a serious need to expand green cover. If we mean to keep this planet habitable, then we need to plant trees at around 9 billion acres of land, as per a research.
However, even if we plant a tree today, it is going to take a whole decade for that tree to be grown enough to purify sufficient air to compensate the human leveraged pollution.
But this Mexican startup, BiomiTech has come up with an idea to save civilisation and the planet until the 9 billion acres green cover becomes a reality. They have developed a setup or a device which they are calling as “BioUrban” or “Artificial Tree”. The startup claims that this artificial device is capable of eradicating pollution from the environment and every single installed device can purify as much air as 368 trees.
BioUrban is a 14 feet tall device and is currently in its initial stage of development. The company has recently released it’s the second version after performing improvisations on the former one. The device is made up of metal and resembles a lamp post like structure.
The structure is based upon the natural phenomenon of photosynthesis only. However, instead of trees, it uses Microalgae, a type of Algae, engineered to be used in the artificial photosynthesis process.
As many people are not aware of the fact that Algae is as much credible for performing photosynthesis and purifying air and water as a tree. The startup is using microalgae in its system to purify air semi-naturally.
The device absorbs air from its surroundings and sends it into its basket section. The basket is filled with MicroAlgae. The Algae then performs photosynthesis, just like a normal tree. The device is capable of consuming 99.7% of the PM 2.5 & PM 10 particles (Particulate Matter Particles, the main reason of pollutants). A single tree weighs 1 ton, however, every single tree can filter and purify as much air as one hectare of forest cover would. Thus, a single BioUrban device can clean air which can be used by 2890 people every day.
Apart from being a low maintenance device, it also has solar panels and Air sensors installed in it which makes it more energy efficient. The device is easy to set up and installs and consumes very less space as compared to that of a natural tree. Hence, a farm or a forest of such artificial trees can be created using much less area of land.
The startup has been able to install 3 “BioUrban 2.0” devices in 3 different cities up till now. One device is installed in Puebla, Mexico (Home city of the startup). 2nd in Colombia, and the 3rd in Panama. The country is aimed at planting more of these artificial trees in other parts of the country.
The only catch is that the device costs $50,000 which is equivalent to approximately Rs. 35 Lakh. The cost of setting up a single tree is as much as buying a 1000 sq ft house in non-metro cities of India.
This is a video about this device:
We hope that the company comes up with solutions to reduce the cost of the device so that it becomes affordable to governments around the globe. The innovation of the company is praiseworthy and should be adopted globally. However, one thing that we should understand is that this should be only an alternative and temporary solution.
Natural trees have their value and no innovation will ever be able to replace them. The trees are the natural heritage and apart from purifying the air, they have several other advantages. They give us fruits, vegetables, fuels, medicines and much more. They are natural habitation to wild animals. They are responsible for rain as well as prevention of soil erosion and land fertility. If we sincerely wish to replace trees using technology, then we might need hundreds of devices that could combinedly perform the work of a single tree.