Urban regions throughout the world are increasingly concerned about air pollution, which has terrible effects on both human health and the environment. Serbia’s Belgrade, the fourth-most polluted city in the nation, is no exception. The “liquid tree,” an urban photo-bioreactor that uses microalgae to enhance air quality, is a novel solution that scientists have created to address this issue.
An Approach to Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The Liquid Tree
The liquid tree is the first urban photo-bioreactor created in Serbia with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing air quality in crowded regions. The system holds 600 liters of water and microalgae that use photosynthesis to bind carbon dioxide (CO2) and create clean oxygen.
The Institute for Multidisciplinary Research at the University of Belgrade’s Dr. Ivan Spasojevic, one of the project’s authors, argues that microalgae are 10 to 50 times more effective than trees at absorbing CO2. This is similar to 200 square meters of grass or two trees that are 10 years old. However, the liquid tree’s purpose is not to replace forests but to saturate metropolitan areas where there is no room for tree planting.
Belgrade’s Air Quality Issue
Belgrade’s air quality is seriously harmed by the proximity of two big coal power stations, which, according to the European NGO Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), are among the top 10 dirtiest facilities in Europe and contribute significantly to the air’s high particulate matter levels. With 175 pollution-related fatalities per 100,000 people, Serbia has Europe’s worst per capita record, according to a research from December 2019.
Activists claim that pollution in Serbia and other parts of the Balkan peninsula is so severe that it can be seen, smelled, and even tasted, particularly during the autumn and winter seasons.
Liquid Trees’ Potential to Reduce Urban Air Pollution
In Belgrade’s most polluted metropolitan areas, the liquid tree offers an innovative and effective way to trap greenhouse emissions. According to the most recent study from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in order to keep the rise in global temperature below 1.5°C, atmospheric greenhouse gas levels must decrease by 60% by 2035 and 43% by 2030.
Transitioning away from fossil fuels, utilizing carbon removal through natural sequestration, and utilizing cutting-edge technology like the liquid tree are necessary to meet these goals. Microalgae are a viable alternative for urban areas with little room to grow trees since they are thought to be 10 to 50 times more effective at storing CO2 than ordinary trees.
A possible game-changer in the fight against urban air pollution is the liquid tree. This technique provides a useful and effective method for enhancing air quality in densely populated areas like Belgrade by using microalgae to bind carbon dioxide and generate clean oxygen. Liquid trees can fill in the gaps in urban areas where planting trees is impractical, yet they are not meant to replace natural forests. The liquid tree gives a glimpse of a greener, cleaner future for our urban areas as the globe searches for novel ways to tackle climate change and enhance air quality.