Description of Challenge
This algae-growing project is addressing people in need of nutritious food, essential oils, amino acids and vitamins. Capturing carbon is an important step into diminishing and hopefully reversing our global impact on the atmosphere. CO2 is a by-product by nearly all industries, and as we are taking away large areas of ancient forests and rainforests for producing food, we are destroying Nature’s way of turning carbon dioxide to oxygen that in turn creates climate issues globally.
Algae need lots of sunlight, abundant in many places throughout Africa, Asia and South America. They also need carbon dioxide, which is plentiful everywhere in our atmosphere, and some inorganic compounds added to the water on which you are growing your algae. These compounds depend on the type of algae you are growing, but spirulina and chlorella are the most popular and grown throughout the world. Scenedesmus is a common algae used for making biofuel.
By growing algae, you are not only producing a super-food with nearly all essential oils and vitamins, but you are also capturing carbon and hence emitting oxygen and therefore creating a negative CO2 impact on the climate. Pretty cool, huh?
My project provides local access to a super-food that has great health benefits and an abundance of vitamins. The production can be set up anywhere. The algae can be added to diets in poor areas and communities everywhere, where access to nutritious food sources is limited. And you don’t even need clean water to grow these algae. Research has shown that these organisms can take out high percentages of nitrate, ammonia and phosphate from waste-water they are growing on. By supplementing this with the use of mycofiltration principles using fungi mats of mycelium used for breaking apart pathogens, pesticides and absorbing salt, you can essentially create clean water from dirty wastewater or salt water while providing oxygen and a healthy, protein-rich, vitamin-filled food source.
So far, this project is only in the planning stage. I have plans of adding an algae production to my mushroom project. This makes sense as mushrooms emit a lot of carbon dioxide during their process of taking over substrate and fruiting, which in turn can create better growing conditions for algae. By having an increased level of CO2, the algae will grow faster, which creates more oxygen for the mushrooms, and hence this cycle will benefit the algae, the mushrooms, and the people growing these.
I am delivering nutritious food for people who need certain vitamins for their body to function. I am delivering oxygen to the global climate by capturing carbon in this food source, thereby limiting the effects of global warming by having a negative CO2 impact.
In this process, I am also providing a sustainable job for myself, while I am making a positive impact on the world climate and the health of people in my local community.