A whiff from our mouths and it turns into biofuel…sounds incredulous. But the Liverpool John Lennon Airport, in Liverpool, U.K. could soon see the first puffs of this technology in action. The esoteric technology will be on full demonstration as the passengers start contributing with their breaths.
Origo Industries has developed the technology behind the ‘Eco-Box’. This carbon capture contraption will catch the CO2 exhaled by airport travellers and recycle it to fuel to be used in the airport’s diesel vehicles and heating system. The mechanism is basically a photo-bioreactor which captures the carbon emissions as uses it as feedstock for algae which subsequently is converted into biomass and turned into bio-fuel. The original role for this bioreactor was as a device to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles. Somebody at Origo Industries turned the idea onto its head.
Iain Houston, Origo’s CEO and founder said,
“The project at the airport is an early trial of a system which we believe could have a significant impact on the way companies today can obtain fuel and manage carbon emissions.”
The installation of the carbon recycling system under a pilot program begun in January has a goal of garnering 24000 gallons of biofuel. Plus, the program envisages providing heating and supply of hot water to the airport. The long term goal is to reach a capacity target of 289,000 gallons which will hopefully provide 800 gallons of biofuel every day.
Origo Industries did not divulge the tentative costs of the pilot program but it gave indications that they would be able to recover the costs in a year’s time. Origo Industries is just one of the many which is seeking to adapt against climate change and seek opportunities through innovative use of technology. It stands on the cusp of an innovation which can be used to produce aviation grade biofuel. Cheap aviation fuel from biomass sources is the elixir which the aviation industry is looking for to give its business a much needed breath of air.
But for the present, if the Eco-Box trials prove to be a success then travellers from around the world would feel relieved that they could reduce their travel (carbon) footprints.