EcoClosure’s system incorporates microalgae within a building enclosure as a closed-loop regenerable technology. With its monitoring and automation features, the system provides healthy indoor environmental quality customized to different building programs, climates zones, and building orientations. A real-time monitoring and control system include indoor air pollutants, temperature and humidity.

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A Schematic Overview of EcoClosure's Regenerable Technology

Why Microalgae?

Algae can be categorized into macroalgae (i.e. seaweed) and microalgae (i.e., phytoplankton) depending on their size and shapes. Macro-algae are multicellular aquatic plants and can be measurable in inches. Microalgae with a few micrometer in size are single cellular microscopic organisms living in aqueous environments. They grow in an extensive range of habitats such as freshwater, salty water, brackish water, and cold and hot springs.

Microalgae has been investigated by researchers in the aerospace industry due to their multi-function capability of air revitalization, waste water management, food production, radiation shielding, and thermal control dedicated to spacecraft technologies. In 2018, NASA astronauts  carried out experiments on microalgae in the International Space Station (ISS) to understand key genetic attributes to optimize microalgae growth in such microgravity environment [1]. Mcroalgae play an vital role in Earth ecosystem, and like other photosynthetic organisms, they use light, water, CO2 and nutrients (e.g. phosphorous and nitrate). Their high carbon conversion ratio allow them to double their mass in a short period of time.

Microalgae do not rely on agricultural resources and land that could be otherwise allocated for food production. They can grow in salty or brackish water thus alleviating pressure on freshwater. Unlike other agricultural crops, microalgae do not cause deforestation, soil erosion and water pollution. Algae in photobioreactor use less water than many other crops. Many data suggested that microalgae has a high efficient photosynthesis with an ability to adapt to a wide range of light and temperature variations.

[1] United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Microalgae Protocols, by Daniel Kainer. NASA. https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/microalgaeprotocols_508.pdf.