Environment Growing and burying algae in the Sahara is the latest solution for the climate crisis

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Out in the Sahara Desert, in one of the most inhospitable environments imaginable, a natural solution to the climate crisis is growing – and at a rapid rate.

London-based startup Brilliant Planet has leased 6,100 hectares of land outside the remote coastal town of Akhfenir in southern Morocco, wedged between the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Sahara to the south. And it’s using it to cultivate algae.

Algae absorbs atmospheric carbon dioxide and emits oxygen via photosynthesis, and has been doing so since before the first land plants ever existed. Brilliant Planet’s CEO Adam Taylor says the company has developed a way to grow algae at exponential rates starting in a beaker in a lab and ending in 12,000-square-meter pools of locally-sourced seawater. Taylor says the process mimics a natural algae bloom, and a test tube of algae can multiply to fill 16 of these giant pools – the equivalent of 77 Olympic-sized swimming pools – in just 30 days.

The algae is extracted from the water then pumped up a 10-story tower and sprayed into the desert air. In the roughly 30 seconds it takes to reach the ground, hot air dries the biomass out, leaving hypersaline algae flakes which can be collected and shallow buried, sequestering their carbon for thousands of years, the company claims.

 
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  • The Helper The Helper:
    I found his email and emailed him but have not heard back. I dont like it
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    Ohhh, I just came back from the airport. I'm so sorry. I was completely off grid since I left to Taiwan.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    Here's what happened. The earthquake happened while I was high above Hawaii.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    After landing, I got news that a big earthquake struck. Since I'm only there in Taiwan for a week, I figured the best option I have is to make sure my family is safe, and that we are all good to go from there.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    I didn't get any phone service plans because I am mainly visiting my family and staying indoors. Well, the earthquake made me forgot to go get phone service.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    And then a few days later, just north from my family, there was a giant plastic industrial complex that caught on fire, with the blaze burning for 1.5 days.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    There was some air pollution and smog outside.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    We did our Ching Ming Festival indoors with my father's family side, and occassionally traveling down southward to visit some farmlands, and paying a visit to my grandmother and my uncle on my mother's side.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    The whole trip was quite hectic, with occasional afterquakes throughout the week. This whole time, I completely forgot about giving updates on TH. :p Again, sorry for the lack of communications.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    As for Github, I often frequent there, boasting about my genetic algorithm for tools-assisted speedrunning and such. I'm also pretty active on Discord, with my tag @asperatology.
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    Yeah, the whole earthquake + air pollution combo made me completely forget about bringing updates. I'll be sure to keep on top of things after all things are less requiring my attentions.
    +2
  • The Helper The Helper:
    I am just glad that you are OK Tom! Thank you for the update!
  • Varine Varine:
    Glad to hear you're okay! I only knew about your Github cuz I tried to follow some of you when I was learning how to program, but didn't understand any of it so kind of quit paying attention to what anyone does on it
  • The Helper The Helper:
    Freaking storm outside is kicking!
  • Blackveiled Blackveiled:
    I wouldn't know, I'm in Joliet, Illinois right now working. I left Houston area about 2 weeks ago lol
  • Blackveiled Blackveiled:
    Not permanently of course, just a temporary job.
    +1
  • jonas jonas:
    Glad you're ok @tom_mai78101
  • jonas jonas:
    @Blackveiled you know another word for permanent? temporary
    +1
  • Varine Varine:
    Briefly, he'll only be there for the interim. Like a stopgap of sorts, he'll be back home in short time
  • O Old Mountain Shadow:
    Hurray! Tom has reappeared!
  • The Helper The Helper:
    Happy Thursday!
  • Blackveiled Blackveiled:
    Yep. Just another fun night at work.

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