The Bio Intelligent Quotient (B.I.Q.) Building is the First Fully Algae-Powered Architecture
Operating successfully for over a year, the Bio Intelligent Quotient (B.I.Q.) building in Hamburg, Germany is the first to be fully powered by algae. The building is covered with 0.78-inch thick panels—200 square meters in total—filled with algae from the Elbe River and pumped full of carbon dioxide and nutrients. The panels, which display the bright green algae, are not only aesthetic, but performative. When sunlight hits the “bioreactor” panels, photosynthesis causes the microorganisms to multiply and give off heat. The warmth is then captured for heating water or storing in saline tanks underground, while algae biomass is harvested and dried. It can either be converted to biogas, or used in secondary pharmaceutical and food products. Residents have no heating bills and the building currently reduces overall energy needs by 50%.
Big Brain Theory: StarTalk Live! at BAM Part 1 This Sunday
If you didn’t attend StarTalk Live! at BAM earlier this year, and somebody told you that the two science guests that evening were Dr. Heather Berlin, an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience & Psychiatry, Mt. Sinai Hospital, and Mayim Bialik, who plays neuroscientist Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory, you might be a bit confused, for which you would understandably be forgiven.
But, as Mayim says during Part 1 of “Big Brains at BAM”, “I’m not just a neuroscientist in real life, but I play one on TV.” And she’s got the PhD to prove it.