leanMalaysia.com reports that rooftop spirulina gardens are part of a burgeoning do-it-yourself urban farm project in Bangkok, Thailand’s capital. They are aimed at growing edible algae that are high in nutritional value and easy to cultivate in homemade bioreactors on otherwise unused space on the roofs of high-rises across the city.
As part of a German entrepreneur’s new EnerGaia product line developed in Bangkok, the algae come in several edible forms – from flavored energy drinks to pasta. “We take greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and convert them into some of the most nutritious products on the planet,” the entrepreneur, Ingo Puhl, explains. “In other words, it’s a sustainable source of protein and has a negative carbon balance (by absorbing more carbon than it omits). Everyone who wants to do so can have their own clean and odorless algae-cultivating system.”
Mr. Puhl’s algae-cultivating Skyline project is still in its early stages in the Thai capital, with some bioreactors already operating on the roofs of hotels and apartment buildings. Yet the German environmentalist sees plenty of potential for the environmentally friendly business initiative – and not only in Thailand but in neighboring countries like Malaysia as well.
A single bioreactor can grow around 1kg of algae in a month, meaning a few of them can supply a family with plenty enough protein all year round. “I believe in creative, technology-driven solutions to common environmental problems,” says Mr. Puhl.
“The best solutions need to be bottom up,” he adds. “With these bioreactors you can grow your own food with no fuss and in the process you can reduce your carbon footprint and make (your city) greener at the same time.”