Due to the huge damage we have done to our planet, the need for eco-friendly alternatives to our everyday items becomes increasingly evident.
As a result, innovators from various industries are trying to find new, sustainable ways to increase our life-quality. Yet, their main goal is for the new household items to be functional for the environment.
The product of the young inventor, engineer, and entrepreneur, Julian Melchiorri, brought him a Forbes recognition as a leading EU social entrepreneur under 30 in 2017, and he also received the Emerging Talent Medal at the London Design Festival. This award is given out to people who have made an impact within five years of graduation.
And for a reason!
He created a living, breathing chandelier, which lights up the room and cleanses the air at the same time.
At the festival, Melchiorri presented a chandelier that contained 70 glass leaves filled with green algae, and is now exhibited in the V&A Museum.
The algae in the bionic chandelier named Exhale absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. The chandelier is modular, so depending on necessity, its leaves can be made in various forms.
Moreover, it can be put outdoors and indoors, but it is still a prototype.
Melchiorri is also a biochemical technology researcher, and for numerous years, he has been trying to develop “artificial leaves” from various living organisms:
“Over the last century, our constantly growing population is burning fossil fuels and destroying plant life, basically forcing a change in the atmosphere and climate, reverse-terraforming our planet.
Having this constant issue in mind, [I] experiment[ed] with ways of making materials that can effectively photosynthesize and explored how this can positively impact the world around us.
These technologies can revolutionize our urban environment both at a product and architectural scale by purifying the air we breathe, sequestrating carbon dioxide and producing valuable bio-products, only using water and light.”
Therefore, the young inventor is determined to contribute to cleaner air.
Melchiorri also created the Silk Leaf, which is a man-made plant, that absorbs water and carbon dioxide (CO2) and produces oxygen, even in harsh conditions.
In the last four years, Melchiorri and his team from London food tech startup Arborea work on developing the BioSolar Leaf.
This product is designed from micro-algae, phytoplankton, and microscopic plants, planted along solar-panel-like structures, that can be put on rooftops or along the sides of buildings.
What is remarkable about it is that it purifies the air, provides electricity and grows proteins and sustainable food ingredients at the same time.
Melchiorri explained that the BioSolar Leaf panels would be excellent for generating electricity in crowded cities.
Their effects are now tested at ICL’s West London White City campus.
According to Professor Neil Alford of Imperial College:
“Air pollution is one of London’s most urgent challenges, and Imperial is committed to finding sustainable and resilient solutions to this threat. This collaboration with Arborea is an exceptional opportunity to showcase the power of Cleantech.”
“When I founded Arborea my goal was to tackle climate change while addressing the critical issues related to the food system. This pilot plant will produce sustainable healthy food additives while purifying the air, producing oxygen and removing carbon dioxide from the surrounding environment.”
Remember, we can all decrease our carbon footprint and help to save our planet by using environment-friendly products on a daily basis.
We can all impact our environment, even with the smallest gestures, like buying reusable items made from sustainable materials, avoiding plastic products, choosing recycled goods, and using natural cleaning items.