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Glowing Algae: A Bright Lighting Idea That Could Change Our World

A French biochemist, Pierre Calleja, has created an eco-friendly lamp that is powered by a tube of glowing green algae. It runs with absolutely no electricity. The lamp uses the algae's own photosynthessis to run the light inside the tube. The algae lives off CO2 already present in the air. The technology has been in development for a while now, and the prototype is being discussed on a Ted Talk with Calleja.

Microalgae Lamp: Image courtesy Pierre Calleja/YouTubeMicroalgae Lamp: Image courtesy Pierre Calleja/YouTube

Placing these lights along streets and in parking garages, where CO2 emissions from cars are highest, simply feeds the light. The light stores the photosynthetic energy for later use, so it can glow with no power source in low light areas.

One lamp could absorb about one ton of CO2 from the air PER YEAR. That equals about 150 to 200 trees, according to Calleja. These lamps, if widely used, could make a significant impact on climate change and air pollution.

Light On CampusLight On Campus

Calleja and his team are already using the algae as a source of Omega-3 vitamin supplements, a base for natural cosmetics, and as a source of biofuel.

Researcher Pierre CallejaResearcher Pierre Calleja

In my previous article about home lighting advances, you read about some pretty nifty stuff. This new invention using glowing algae may revolutionize lighting and help protect the environment.


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