Algae to Improve Indoor Air Quality at Pittsburgh International Airport

AlgenAir Inc. has partnered with Pittsburgh International Airport’s (PIT) innovation hub, xBridge to evaluate its aerium Living Technology system, which uses algae to improve indoor air quality.

The system has been installed in PIT’s Baggage Claim Arrivals area and is the first commercial-size model of AlgenAir’s aerium Living Technology.

Algae Air Quality
Air from inside the airport is pumped through the aerium’s 10 tubes

This use of algae aims to improve health and environmental issues in public facilities.

It works by pumping air through the tubes, where the algae filter carbon dioxide and impurities out while producing oxygen that is released back into the indoor atmosphere to improve the air quality.

AlgenAir Co-founder and CTO Dan Fucich said:

“The aerium Living Technology will enable building owners to improve indoor air quality without sacrificing energy efficiency.”

The 10 vertical tubes in the aerium are 8 feet tall and hold more than 100 gallons of the algae spirulina, which has the photosynthetic capacity of more than 5,000 plants.

Fresh spirulina is green but will eventually turn blue as it absorbs more and more carbon dioxide. Once it has reached maximum capacity, fresh algae will be added and the spent biomass will be used as fertiliser around the airport campus.

Algae Air Quality
Rayan Zarhir of New Jersey visits the new AlgenAir installation located inside PIT’s Landside Terminal

After a three-month pilot period, PIT and xBridge will evaluate the results and determine if the aerium should be used permanently at the airport.

xBridge Director Cole Wolfson said:

“The xBridge is representative of Pittsburgh’s thriving tech economy. We’re excited to partner with AlgenAir on the proof-of-concept for aerium Living Technology as we work to increase clean energy and decarbonisation options.”

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