BARCELONA, Spain — Spanish architects have created a stylish 3D-printed Christmas tree that can absorb carbon dioxide.
The high-tech tree was invented by External Reference, an architecture studio based in Barcelona. The faux fir tree can neutralize carbon dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen and other gases.
The tree was made with a 3D printer using a chemical product containing minerals that are 100% natural and capable of absorbing CO2 and thereby purifying the air.
“The idea was to create a cross between nature and technology, to create a tree that had a natural behavior even though it’s artificial, so that we can highlight the idea of sustainability,” Carmelo Zappulla, owner of External Reference, said in an interview with Zenger News.
The idea was born in the company’s studio, where architects were experimenting and checking the sustainability of various types of materials.
“Christmas trees are already dead when they arrive home,” Zappulla said. “The 3D tree is a way of raising awareness and showing that there are new plastics and materials that have the same active behavior in the environment.”
The tree consists of a bioplastic polymer made with corn dextrose mixed with a material called CO2pure to create an all-natural mineral compound that can capture and mineralize some of the main greenhouse gases and pollutants found in the atmosphere.
When molded in fir-tree form, the product costs 2,500 euros (roughly $3,000 U.S.) and is 2 meters tall (about 6.5 feet). The size can be customized to the client’s needs.
“The trees can also come with Christmas ornaments hand-blown glass by Barcelona craftsman Ferran Collado, and LED lights with low electricity consumption,” Zappulla said. “We have sold it to companies all around the world.”
The use of 3D trees would also mean fewer natural trees would be harvested for use at Christmas, a practice that Zappulla endorses.
“We should stop cutting trees and take better control of what can be cut,” he said.
In the U.S alone, between 25-30 million real Christmas trees are sold annually, according to the National Christmas Tree Association.
(Edited by Matthew B. Hall and Carlin Becker)
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