Artificial algae tree was designed in collaboration with Greengroves Environmental Services Saudi Arabia.
The artificial algae tree, known as the “Climatree,” is a state-of-the-art direct air carbon capturing microalgae photobioreactor, integrated with a patented carbon dioxide (CO2) scrubber, that has been designed by Aramco in collaboration with Greengroves Environmental Services Saudi Arabia. The Climatree project is among a host of initiatives undertaken by Aramco’s Green Energy Program (GEP) to attempt to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. This artificial algae tree is characterized by its aesthetic façade that blends incredibly well with urban architecture, and therefore, can be installed in either an outdoor or indoor setup.
Recently, Environmental Protection general manager, Omar Abdulhamid, visited the facility at Al-Qurrayah to oversee the first prototype location of the artificial algae tree in the Kingdom.
“We have a potential nature-based solution for air capture to remove CO2 by using the Climatree.” He also added, “We might be able to upscale the Climatree accordingly to the air quality requirements, as it can be an efficient cost-effective CO2 air capture system.”
— Omar Abdulhamid
The objective of the Climatree is the sequestration of CO2. This is achieved by using microalgae that absorbs CO2 and releases oxygen through photosynthesis, which has significantly higher CO2 absorption as compared to a planted tree, where one Climatree = 425 trees. Moreover, the Climatree has a carbon capture and storage system that permanently captures carbon to produce algae biomass and stores CO2 in the form of a carbonate mineral.
The microalgae biomass can be used for pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, biochar, bioremediation, and animal/fish feed, while the carbonate mineral can be used for construction, agriculture and aquaculture, household cleaning, and pollution mitigation.
Apart from CO2 sequestration and the biomass use, the Climatree also contains sophisticated filtration systems for the 99.9% removal of bacteria, viruses, and dust, which is crucial in the post-pandemic world.
Aramco's Environmental Protection general manager Omar S. Abdulhamid helps inaugurate the Climatree at a recent ceremony.
Aramco has partnered with Greengroves for providing services in the fields of biotechnology to develop nature-based solutions utilizing microalgae and inorganic carbon sequestration systems. The Aramco and Greengroves partnership have produced the first prototype of the artificial algae tree in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and testing it in a pioneering microalgae facility at Al-Qurayyah, in the Eastern Province, where microalgae is grown and tested at various scales, ranging from flasks to large-scale ponds and raceways.
Being a leader in R&D, this cutting-edge solution will be creating lower carbon solutions that adopts circular carbon economy objectives. In addition, Aramco has re-designed the Climatree to look more like a real-life tree, while also enhancing the carbon capturing capabilities since the original unit captures CO2 equivalent to 120 trees and with our partnership with Greengroves, the Climatree now absorbs up to 3.2 tons of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to 425 native trees. The system also includes a sophisticated control system that gives general information about the Climatree, while also showing detailed online analysis for Climatree performance and operation, such as total biomass production, CO2 intake, and CO2 sequestrated value.
The Climatree is one of the initiatives undertaken by the GEP to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. The Climatree project will continue to enhance its CO2 capturing capabilities and optimize the cost to potentially become a commercialized product.
— The Arabian Sun: June 22, 2022