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May 10, 2022 3 min read

Algae Tiles That Can Filter Toxic Chemicals From Water! 

Plant lovers, get ready to renovate because these leaf inspired tiles don't just look incredible but they are saving the world! 

An Indian architect by the name of Shneel Malik from the Bio-Integrated Design Lab at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London, has designed refillable Algae & Seaweed based hydrogel tiles that filter chemicals and dyes from water through their leaf like vein grooves! 

The clay tiles, which have been called ‘Indus Tiles’ were constructed as a way to manage water waste in manufacturing productions where space and resources are limited and chemicals were entering the waterways! 

Did I mention they look like a wall of art?! 

Algae Tiles That Detoxify Water

Why is Algae So Magical?

Algae plays a crucial role in our aquatic ecosystems by converting water and CO2 to sugar and oxygen through photosynthesis, which forms the energy base for other marine organisms!! How cool ?! 

Algae also has the ability to treat wastewater or contaminated water by producing oxygen that allows bacteria to breakdown the contaminants in the water and takes up excess nitrogen and phosphorus in the process! 

Did you know that Algae produce an estimated 30-50% of the net global oxygen to humans and animals… A true hero of our Earth’s survival! Thanks Algae! 

How Do The Tiles Work?

Just like our Charcoal Water Filter Stick, it can remove impurities and things like Chlorine from your drinking water! The Indus tiles work the same in their own unique way!

The design of the tile is inspired by the shape of a leaf and features vein-like grooves throughout! When water sits on the tiles it flows through the veins where the algae and seaweed base is! The seaweed hydrogel as well as the algae have the ability to capture heavy metals from the water and detoxify it!

This method of Algae to cleanse wastewater is affordable and more importantly sustainable, especially for parts of the world like India with limited resources, where the waste water would otherwise go into the environment!

Indus tiles are easy to repair and separate from each other without destroying the rest of the structure which allows this method to be easily maintained, which is crucial to its design of being adaptable to limited resource areas and constrained environments. 

Algae & Seaweed Hydrogel Clay Tiles That Detoxify Water

Where Do You Find These Indus Tiles?

Whilst we can’t go quickly nip down to Bunnings to grab a few tiles, there are big plans for them and their growth around the world! 

With further adaptation and testing underway in London there are hopes for the project to run in India, as it was designed tobebuilt on site in areas with contaminated water sources, and India is estimated to have 80% of its water source polluted. These tiles could save lives and prevent pollution entering our Earth! You can even watch how they work here! 

Algae is, however , becoming a resource to businesses to reduce their emissions! For example, this Sydney Brewery! 

This breakthrough design could be the sustainable answer to our water waste prayers! 

Want more amazing news stories about our earth? Perhaps a story about how feeding seaweed to cows is saving the world?

 Head to our Good Earth news Blog

GFZ Team xx 

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