These “biosolar panels” suck CO2 from the air to grow edible algae

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In London, scientists are testing the “BioSolar Leaf,” which uses carbon-hungry organisms to help clean the air better than trees can–all while providing an excellent source of protein.

At Imperial College London’s new campus in West London, some rooftops will soon hold bright green “biosolar” panels covered with algae. The plants suck carbon dioxide out of the air and produce fresh oxygen at a rate 100 times faster than trees covering the same amount of land–and then the microscopic organisms can be harvested to be used in food.

“We call it a ‘BioSolar Leaf,’” says Julian Melchiorri, CEO of Arborea, the company that designed the new technology. “It uses solar energy, but instead of converting solar energy into electricity [like a solar panel], we convert solar energy into food.”

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