Why is algae growing in the Pittsburgh International Airport?

aerium living technology pittsburgh airport

aerium: Living Technology

On September 19th, 2022 we installed a giant aerium in the Pittsburgh International Airport. This algae installation is showcasing the latest in living technology. Living technology combines biology and engineering, brought to life through elegant design. It solves problems caused by our modern built environment. 

The aerium harnesses the natural power of algae to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) indoors and produce oxygen (O2), combating indoor air pollution. This is possible because algae, like plants, use photosynthesis.  In fact, algae is responsible for 60% of the world’s oxygen production. 

This aerium installation has the photosynthetic capacity of over 5,000 plants. The algae grown in this system is spirulina (Arthrospira platensis). It can be recycled in downstream applications such as composting, nutrition, pigments, bioplastics, biofuels, or to fertilize the plants you see around the airport! Buildings of tomorrow will use this technology to improve the air you breathe while conserving precious resources.

How can you get involved? 

  • Interested in pilot testing one of the commercial aerium living technology units? Tell us more about your project with this form or email us at support@algenair.com!

This installation is a project facilitated by Pittsburgh International Airport’s xBridge Innovation Center, the airport’s tech proving ground for technologies and startups that solve for needs in the industry and beyond. Drawing from the region’s strong innovation economy, the airport is a proof-of-concept site for technologies in a real-world operating environment as well as a pilot site for companies’ first deployments.