After coming across the Bio-Light, I felt I needed to highlight a few other projects in Philips’s Microbrial Home.
According to Philips, the centerpiece of the home is a kitchen island with an integrated bioreactor. The digester is connected to the garbage disposal so that decaying plant and animal matter can be fed to bacteria that then produces methane which is then burned for fuel. It’s an interesting idea, but I find it hard to believe that the the amount of energy created from the scraped plates of a few dinners could actually do anything useful, certainly not anything that could noticeably effect the power demands of the home.
The main purpose of the bioreactor – besides fueling the Bio-Light – is to power the the dining table. An herb garden grows above a table that has integrated terra cotta evaporation coolers. What’s the methane for, apparently to warm the tabletop. Strange I know. Still, the table does look pretty striking with plants and the storage.
Part of Philips’s Microbial Home concept, the Bio-Light is a group glass vessels containing a bioluminescent bacteria. The bacteria is suspended in a nutrient bath that is provided from either a biodigester, or just a boring old tank.
Seeing the photos of the lamp, I wondered how much light was actually generated. I still don’t know. I don’t expect the Bio-Light to be useful to read by or anything, but I would expect it to be bright enough to be obviously glowing even in a room that’s moderately lit. Looking into bioluminescent kits, the bacteria in the lamp might be vibrio fischeri. Bacteria isn’t a bad choice for bioluminescent lamps since unlike diatoms, they glow continuously, as opposed to only when disturbed. Another possibility would be to use fungi like armillariella mellea (aka foxfire), but from what I’ve read most fungi are very dim. Mycena chlorophos might be a bit brighter, but Im having problems finding where to purchase it. Personally, I’d feel better having a bunch of mushrooms on my wall rather than bacteria.