Architect Vincent Callebaut likes to dream about the future. And when he does so he thinks about green architectural and technological solutions that will deal with global warming, greenhouse gases and the rise of ocean and sea levels.
This Hydrogenase Project is based upon the futuristic thinking that one day there will be bio-hydrogen airships that use sunlight and algae to create H2 for power. This bio-hydrogen photosynthesis will allow these heavier than air, airships to fly partly because of their unique helix design.
Callebaut states, “Able to produce electricity and biofuel without emit CO2 or other polluting substances, the hydrogen especially is nowadays such as a very promising clean energy source. Therefore (its production that respects the environment and in sufficient quantity) is a study theme that interests the biggest scientific international groups.
“Actually, at the end of the 90s it has been discovered that the private sulphur micro-seaweeds go from the oxygen production (classical photosynthesis) to the hydrogen production. Such as a growing tree uses the solar radiance to manufacture organic material, we aim today at producing by photosynthesis some dihydrogen (i.e. gaseous hydrogen) from living micro-organisms as seaweeds from the Chlamydomonas reinhardtii family that owns enzyme of hydrogenase type.”
He goes onto say that by the year 2020, “Hydrogenase is thus a jumbo jet vessel (DGP) that flies at an average of 2 000 meters high. This cargo measures almost 400 meters high for 250 000m3. It can carry up to 200 tons of freight at 175 km/h (i.e. twice the speed of a ship and more than one and a half time than the one of a truck). Seven times slower than an airplane, it has an action potential between 5 and 10 000km and re-teach our contemporary travelers the long time of sea cruises and the praise of the slowness. The history of the transports which was until now summarized in a study that reveals to always go faster, is soon finished for the benefit of ‘better travel’ in airship!”
Callebaut also has an idea for “Lilypad Cities” that will address the need to replace islands that have been overtaken by global warming and sea level rise. Here is a video of his amazing design.
This is not to say that these futuristic design ideas will ever come to fruition. But, the fact that someone is dreaming, developing new ideas and thinking outside the box now may inspire others to come up with more practical solutions for using hydrogen to address climate problems and energy independence in the future.