DST – converting city dust into energy

DST – converting city dust into energy
DST facade small form concept
DST – converting city dust into energy to light up buildings and public spaces.

Alina Holovatiuk
Kyiv, Ukraine
Team members
Alina Holovatiuk
Nellia Leshchenko
Field of work
Architecture, Design, Visual Art, Research, Other
Project category
Project submitted

I'm a Ukrainian architect and CGI artist, founder-CEO of the InTempo app & case against panic attacks, and author of the international social experiment "Architecture & Happiness."

My interests include AI in architecture & design, eco-tech, biotech and parametric architecture, painting, graphite drawing, cinematography, and architectural competitions.

I’m running an architecture blog on Instagram with 58k followers and 24/7 accessible for a conversation with smart and outgoing people. Among the latest achievements could name that Finalist in Lexus Design Awards 2021 and Creative Hack Awards 2022.

Nellia Leshchenko, Architect, Dr.Sc. in Architecture,
Professor, Department of Information Technologies in Architecture,
Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture

The idea for the project DST appeared when the author was walking through the streets of Kyiv and noticed that all the facades, regardless of whether it is a new building or an old one, are extremely dirty and covered with a layer of dust.

And it’s true: According to international researchers, pollution of the surface atmosphere with dust has a detrimental effect on human health, organic flora, and the environment in general, which is reflected in global warming. Concentrations of dust pollution in large cities can be as high as 10-15% of total air pollution, which is a huge figure.

Together with solid matter, dusty elements carry a very large number of organic microorganisms and protozoa, which, according to the laws of Bioenergetics, have a significant energy potential. Usually, this energy of microorganisms is lost.
Therefore, there is an interest in obtaining energy from purified dust, which, if reasonably selected and stored in special energy storage units, could cover some of the energy needs of large cities.

We propose to use a plant-based fuel cell based on particulate dust particles to develop self-powered systems indoors or as part of an open urban public space. PMFC uses the metabolism of plant root micro-organisms as catalysts and organic matter to generate electricity, achieving a specific power of several milliwatts/cm2 from a single plant.

The project proposes the creation of innovative multi-modular small architectural forms (robots), dispersed in public spaces in cities with large concentrations of people, such as train stations, markets, and office buildings on the facades and on the streets. Their function will be to clean the air of dust, create microbial fuel cells based on it, and extract and store energy in ultramodern batteries. The energy collected is planned to be used for lighting and charging gadgets in these public spaces.