by Jincy IypeNov 18, 2021
Architects and researchers Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto of design and innovation lab ecoLogicStudio have collaborated with nasal healthcare brand Otrivin to create an open laboratory that showcases biodegradable polymers to the public made using a circular air-purification process. The space named the Otrivin Air Lab is being presented at the Building Centre in London from June 15 to September 17, 2022.
London-based ecoLogicStudio, which specialises in biotechnology, digital prototyping, and computational design around the built environment, aimed to broaden their approach in terms of diversity and scale when they conceived the idea of the lab. Together with Otrivin, the studio turns to expand their experimental practice into a living showroom and a bio-design workshop enabling urban dwellers to design new nature based circular economies.
According to ecoLogicStudio, the Otrivin Air Lab will allow people to harvest microalgae, which will then be transformed into algae-based bioplastic, bio-filament for 3D printing and finally into new biodegradable products. “At the lab,” shares Pasquero and Poletto, “we harvest carbon dioxide, purify polluted urban air, and 3D print plastic free biodegradable products. Essentially, we convert air pollution into products that help protect our breathing.” Then duo’s previous projects, which include the inflatable Air Bubble air-purifying eco-machine presented at the COP26 summit in Glasgow in October 2021, was claimed to be made of 99 per cent air, water, and living photosynthetic air-purifying Chlorella cultures. The studio's attempts have since been conceiving innovative nature-based solutions to mitigate the impact of urban air pollution.
With the application of the studio’s pioneering PhotoSynthetica technology, the lab works to test the feasibility to build a circular production workflow in which carbon dioxide and urban air pollution are re-metabolised into fresh biomass. The laboratory is conceived within an enclosure of a lightweight and reversible timber structure. Inside, a main photosynthetic wall contains 12 photobioreactors, each one metre high glass vessel filled with 10 litres of living photo synthetic microalgae. Four strains have been selected for their versatility and beauty: Spirulina, Chlorella, Porphyridium and Cyanidium. The wall will adsorb 240g of CO2 and release 180g of oxygen producing 84g of biomass daily,” explains Pasquero and Poletto.
A catalogue of material samples with diverse properties extracted from the daily harvest is also being crafted at the Otrivin lab. Visitors are presented with an impressive documentation of colour gradients obtained from testing algae strains in bio-plastics, bio-rubbers and 3D printed algae filaments. A live 3D printing process to produce carbon neutral products is also part of the showcase.
A key product of the Otrivin Air Lab is the nasal spray biodegradable bottles called Fibonacci NetiPot, conceived as "a new line of product opportunities that updates the historical evolution of nasal cleansing and respiratory wellness". With the production of each NetiPot, as per ecoLogicStudio, 15g of carbon dioxide is removed from the air. “The Otrivin Air Lab pioneering bio digital fabrication process aims to eliminate the production of waste, to optimise material use and performance, to improve nature biodegradability and to achieve carbon neutral industrial scalability,” share Pasquero and Poletto. The duo hopes to continue experimenting with new ideas and innovations to create better breathing health for urban living.