Liquid Tree to Combat Air Pollution in Cities

 Air pollution is a serious threat to public health, with millions of people around the world suffering from its effects every year. This problem is particularly acute in urban areas, where pollution levels can be several times higher than recommended limits. In such environments, traditional solutions like planting trees may not be practical due to a lack of available space. However, a group of scientists in Serbia has developed an ingenious solution: a liquid tree that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. 

The Concept of a Liquid Tree

The liquid tree, or LIQUID 3, is Serbia's first urban photo-bioreactor, designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. It contains 600 liters of water and uses microalgae to bind carbon dioxide and produce pure oxygen through photosynthesis, making it an efficient alternative to traditional trees. The system is multifunctional, serving as a bench with phone chargers, lighting at night, and a solar panel. The LIQUID 3 is placed in the municipality of Stari Grad in Belgrade, a busy urban area with high CO2 emissions.

The Benefits of Microalgae

Microalgae are 10 to 50 times more efficient than trees at binding carbon dioxide, making them a more effective solution in areas of intense pollution, such as Belgrade. The LIQUID 3 uses single-celled freshwater algae, which can grow in tap water, are resistant to high and low temperatures, and require little maintenance. Algae can also be used in wastewater treatment, as compost for green areas, for biomass and biofuel production, and air purification from factory exhaust gases.

Impact and Recognition

The LIQUID 3's innovative design earned it recognition as one of the 11 best innovative and climate-smart solutions by the Climate Smart Urban Development project, sponsored by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Ministry of Environmental Protection, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The liquid tree shows that climate-smart urban development is crucial, and innovative ideas can contribute to better solutions for combating air pollution in urban areas.

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