A Mexican company won a prestigious innovation award for its air purification system at the Contamination Expo Series 2018 held in Birmingham, England, this week.
BiomiTech beat out six other finalists in the innovation category with its Biourban 2.0 system, which uses microalgae to transform contaminants such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides into oxygen.
The technology used in the system is 100% Mexican.
“A single Biourban [system] is capable of carrying out the photosynthesis process and returning oxygen equivalent to [that released annually by] more than 300 trees,” BiomiTech founding partner Jaime Ferrer told the newspaper Milenio.
“But we’re not replacing them. At crossroads, in urban infrastructure where contamination is found, roads where cars drive on a daily basis, at intersections where buses stop . . . These are places where we can’t plant 300 trees but we can complete the same function through a natural biological process,” he explained.
BiomiTech’s purification system is four meters high and designed in the form of a tree with a steel casing.
Its apex has a three-meter diameter and contains 500 liters of microalgae capable of filtering up to 99.7% of the particles it captures.
The system is also equipped with a sensor to monitor air quality and wireless internet capability to transmit the data it collects. Waste microalgae can be used as a raw material for products such as biogas and biofuels.
“The most important cities in the world with significant pollution problems have highly-advanced sensors that measure contamination . . . but very few do something to control the problem. This is the first technology, which through a 100% biological and natural process, enables contamination to be reduced,” Ferrer said.
The first Biourban system was installed in Puebla a year ago but the company hopes to expand to other parts of the country.
Over the course of a year, the filtration system has the capacity to capture more than 13 million cubic meters of air and release oxygen equivalent to that released by 368 young eucalyptus trees.
Earlier this year, BiomiTech was also the winner of the Latam Edge Awards, which supports the expansion of Latin American technology companies in the United Kingdom.
“It was very gratifying because they recognized Mexican talent abroad. The [Latam] prize consisted of 125,000 pounds in services, marketing, offices and advertising with the aim of starting operations in the United Kingdom,” Ferrer said.
“. . . It makes me very proud to say that we’re being recognized at an international level but there’s still a lot to do in our country.”
Source: Milenio (sp)