Sustainable Cities™

Liverpool: A growing carbon-neutral city

Growing algae in Liverpool's enormous docks will make the city self-sufficient in CO2-neutral energy, create jobs and get the dilapidated city back on its feet. Bio-Port Energy Free City is a scheme, the vision of which is to enable a post-industrial city to form the foundations for a new, sustainable operation.

Alger, foto af Xalamay, juli 2007, Flickr Creative Commons

Greg Keeffe, Professor of Sustainable Architecture at the Leeds School of Architecture is one of the initiators of the project Bio-Port Energy Free City,   a vision of a new bio-fuel industry revitalising post-industrial Liverpool. Mr Keeffe envisages a giant production cycle involving algae production, glass making, cattle farming and greenhouse vegetable cultivation large quantities of free energy and bio-oil. Homes would be heated, transport in and around the city would run on bio-diesel, and Liverpool would become carbon neutral.

The idea is to combine algae production with bio-fuel production and glass making using recycled glass. Liverpool's enormous docks would be used to mimic algae's natural growth conditions in cultivation tanks made of glass. The algae are grown until the thick green biomass can be removed from the surface and pressed to remove natural oils. The oil would be processed to make biodiesel which can be used to produce heat and electricity or as CO2 neutral fuel for transport. The finished algae unit would produce hundred and 150,000 litres of biodiesel per hectare per year. This would total 900 million litres and would cover all energy requirements.

 Illustration of Bio-Port, courtesy of Greg Keeffe

By recycling glass and using it to build algae arrays, more algae can be cultivated and more carbon-neutral energy can be generated. This energy would be used to process recycled glass into more tanks, and so on. Liverpool could thus become a giant glass recycling plant, with glass being sailed in from all over Europe and reused. When enough algae arrays have been made, the enormous surplus of carbon-neutral energy would be used in the extremely energy-intensive production of float glass, the kind used in all modern windows these days. This method of glass manufacture produces a perfectly smooth surface and even thickness.

Cattle would graze on the grassy areas around the docks and greenhouses would be built to produce food. The cattle would be fed residual products from the algae and their manure used in the greenhouses. The algae efficiently absorb the gases emitted by the cattle and convert them into oxygen.

The finished Synergetic City would produce enough pure energy for the city and its inhabitants. They would be kept constantly supplied by the constantly growing algae production, which produces enormous quantities of carbon-neutral energy while at the same time functioning as a massive carbon tank that uses waste gases from the city in its photosynthetic growth cycle.




Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014