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Liquid3: A New Hope to End Air Pollution

Liquid3 is the new invention of our time that could help with air quality. But what exactly is this invention?
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“Liquid3” is the new invention of our time that could help with air quality. But what exactly is this invention?

Have you ever been driving towards Los Angeles and noticed the sky change from blue to brown? Or looked out the window on a long drive and wondered if it was smog or water vapor? Though America’s air pollution is slowly decreasing from the former years, the fact is that there are still many unhealthy fumes being released into the air. Even worse, America is ranked as one of the top countries in good air quality according to IQAir. Meaning that other countries’ residents are breathing in more smoke than oxygen. However, there is still hope.

Awarded as the 11th-best innovation project, “Liquid3” promises a bright future for crowded cities. As of now, it is only in one location; Serbia. However, with the constant climb of wildfires and population in the world, residents may not need to look far to have one of these in their cities. Dr. Ivan Spasojevic, the creator of this innovation, explains what “Liquid3” is and how it will help.

According to UNDP.org, Spasojevic explains how his creation works. Spasojevic says, “The microalgae in ‘Liquid3’ replace two 10-year-old trees or 200 square meters of lawn. The advantage of microalgae is that they are 10 to 50 times more efficient than trees.”

How does this work exactly? Liquid3 is a glass compartment of water and microalgae. As well as having the glass to allow sunlight in for photosynthesis, it also gives people a view into what is actually in the invention.

UNDP has asked the head of the Department of Social Affairs, Bojan Bojić, what exactly goes into this project. Bojić states, “The photobioreactor is a completely new biotechnological solution for air purification and oxygen production. In an aquarium of six hundred liters of water, we have algae that bind carbon dioxide and produce pure oxygen through photosynthesis. The project is designed to be multifunctional.”

This invention can take the place of an adult tree and give off oxygen to more crowded locations where normal shrubbery could not survive. As well as that, it doubles as a bench with phone charging cables and lights powered by a solar panel above. A sure way to go green.

Some people do not realize why exactly some places have better air quality than others. The answer to this has to do with the plant aspect. Weather conditions, fire casualties, and area all have a hand in stopping vegetation. Kadence Bernard, a junior at Santa Rosa Academy gives visual aid to help explain how places with higher air quality have more flora and fauna. “ I have been to places with high air quality, not low, and they were all green: lots of plants, trees, and [were] very pretty.”

As well as more green with bluer skies, there is also more brick that comes with the fumes.

Coach Elizabeth Culhane, one of Santa Rosa’s high school P.E. teachers, has had personal experience in this aspect. Coach Culhane states, “I have been to a place with low air quality. The sky had a gray cloud of pollution from cars, businesses, factories, buses, etc. It was gross and difficult to breathe. There was an obvious lack of plant life [and] trees in the area as well.”

View of Los Angeles from Griffith Observatory. Smogy fumes block the skylines even from mountain views. Is this what we’re breathing? (Pepijn Schmitz)


There are many locations with terrible air quality. Outside of the United States, other countries are on the brink of a disaster.

Coach Montoya Gunn, Santa Rosa Academy’s other high school PE teacher, has explored these places and had first-hand knowledge of this. Before being a teacher, Coach Gunn was in the military. He was a United States Marine. Coach Gunn says, “Iraq, it looked very smoggy. It was very dusty, and smoggy because it was a desert. But the air quality was poor. We had to walk around with scarves. Like we did with Covid, to block out the dirt.”

“Liquid3” would be a way to fill the more polluted areas such as Los Angeles. This is a very big deal. According to the American Lung Association, LA has been ranked as the worst city in America with air quality. Santa Rosa Academy, though being hours away from this city, is still in close enough proximity that it still gets the after-effects of smog. This affects everyone’s day-to-day life. The World Health Association dives deeper into what is going on when breathing in the terrible fumes. They state that there is much research that links low air quality to unhealthy impacts on people’s lives. This includes heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory infections to name a few. Why may this happen when inhaling? Because of what is truly in the air. AirNow states that carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide fill the air and choke out the oxygen that humans need to survive causing many health dilemmas.

This graph shows the percentage of all gasses in the air. The rating for oxygen is only 20 percent. meaning people are only breathing in 1/5 oxygen. (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration)

“Liquid3” would be able to help with this. It would be put into places with little space and poor air quality to give the city another chance. It can take the place of one adult tree and work year-round while only using the sun’s energy as its power source from the solar panels. These specific solar panels can run during rain, cloud, and night. Allowing “Liquid3” to run year-round. Kadence Bernard feels that “Liquid3” is a great start to ending pollution. Bernard explains, “ I think ‘Liquid3’ is a good idea. It seems simple and if it won a prize then it must have done something good.” “Liquid3” has won the Green Product Award and the Green Concept Award. For one of the best innovative ideas to help the environment.
While many people are very excited and hoping that America will soon adopt this creation, there is still much skepticism about the project.

Coach Gunn believes people should focus on something else rather than trying to begin this project. Coach Gunn explains, “ If it is effective, they will cut down trees. I’m an environmentalist, but I’m not against fossil fuels. We need to think about the environment as trees. If we keep cutting down trees and aren’t planting any new ones, we’re going to need a device like that.” Dr. Spasojevic understands people’s doubt and explains what the entire belief is for Liquid3.

“Our goal is not to replace forests, but to use this system to fill those urban pockets where there is no space for planting trees. In certain conditions of great pollution, trees cannot survive, while algae do not mind that pollution.”

While this is still in negotiation, many people feel that this is a good start to help go green. “Liquid3” may have some skepticism still to it. However, people are still excited to hopefully start doing this around the world. But while people wait for this, there is still so much we can do for the world. Whether we get this invention or not, there are still many other ways to help the environment.

Kadence Bernard says, “I think we can use less gas or even a different way to fly through the air. I’ve heard planes leave lots of air pollution behind.”

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About the Contributor
Madison Flores, Staff Writer
Madison Flores is a Freshman Blue Track student attending Santa Rosa Academy. Madison has been attending SRA since the 6th grade and was a member of the music club and guitar club. Outside of school, Madison is a member of a swim team and has been doing swimming since she was seven-years-old. Her favorite sports are swimming and volleyball. During her free time, she enjoys watching movies and hanging out with family. She has one sister who is two years younger than her. Madison wants her first job to be a lifeguard. She is considering becoming an author in the future, but is still deciding.
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