Project by: Saumil Shah
Designed by: EnerGaia
Challenge: How can cities help us scale up the production of superfoods?
Project description: We currently rely on agricultural processes that are both resource hungry and release around 12,000 megatons of CO 2 into the atmosphere every year. Based in Bangkok, EnerGaia specializes in turning rooftops and other disused urban spaces into high-productivity spirulina farms.
Spirulina, one of the oldest organisms on the planet, is an edible, highly nutritious, single-cell photosynthesising plant that, in the right conditions, grows as fast as bacteria, able to double its mass every 48 hours. It is a good source of vegan protein, vitamins and antioxidants. As well as being a stand-alone superfood, it can be used to enrich conventional foods such as pasta, bread and ice cream, allowing it to be easily integrated into all local diets.
The crop is produced by pumping water and nutrients through a network of interlinked barrels, ready loaded with simple mesh nets to harvest the mature spirulina, obviating the need for agricultural land and heavy farming equipment. It takes just 15 litres of water to grow 1kg of spirulina (compared to 15000 litres for the beef equivalent), making this a superfood, able to help combat our biggest nutritional and environmental problems . EnerGaia have 3 farms running in Thailand, 1 in Bangladesh and 1 in Indonesia with 1,320 bioreactor tanks, scaling up to 16,000 tanks by the end of the year.
Project phase: 3 farms running in Thailand, 1 in Bangladesh and 1 in Indonesia
Location: Bangkok, Thailand