In our undersea station one of the ways to absorb Carbon dioxide from the air and to produce oxygen instead might be beside classic scrubbers the Biocoil reactor that was first introduced by a science class of Cascade High School in the US. It looks like a quiet simple system based on Chlorella algae and it was used in Lloyd Godson’s ‘BioSub’ project.
The Biocoil and BioSUB Projects on ABC’s Behind The News (BTN):
Given an excerpt from the homepage of the Cascade High School Idaho, USA:
‘The Biocoil was a science project first introduced to Cascade by a group of four girls who called themselves the sewage sisters. The biocoil has been running at the High School since 1993. The biocoil is a photosynthetic bioreactor, a sustained system that undergoes photosynthesis and uses nutrients. The biocoil has a very basic design plan: a tank, a pump, clear vinyl tubing, a light source, and chlorella algae with water. The clear vinyl tubing is normally wound around in a “coil” because this makes the space that it fills up as compact as possible. The algae and water are pushed through the tubing by the pump and then splashed into the tank, where the oxygen is released and the CO2 is scrubbed. Lloyd will use our system to provide him the oxygen that he needs. ‘
A more detailed report named ‘In-Home Photosynthetic Bioreactor – 1997-98‘ is available on the homepage of Cascade High School.
An article from the magazine Illumin describes the system as follows:
‘Of all the engineering innovations present aboard the BioSUB, the specially-designed Biocoil is the most significant. When researching different air supply systems for the BioSUB Project, Godson contacted Cascade High School in Idaho, where the school’s advanced biology students had spent over a decade researching the properties of the chlorella algae and constructing Biocoils. Chlorella possesses a high photosynthetic efficiency and only requires carbon dioxide, water, light, and a small amount of minerals to rapidly produce energy. Essentially, a Biocoil is a photosynthetic bioreactor that consists of a series of coiled, plastic tubing filled with water and chlorella. The design of the Biocoil maximizes the amount of light available to the chlorella to assist their rate of photosynthesis. In Godson’s case, the carbon dioxide required for photosynthesis was provided by his own respiration, and his urine was recycled to provide the nutrients also required for the process. In this way, Godson and the Biocoil were able to interact in a self-sufficient “human-plant symbiosis”.’ (Source: http://illumin.usc.edu/article.php?articleID=178)