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C.R.O.P. – Combined Regenerative Organic Food Production: Employing the Benefits of Natural Communities

Bornemann, Gerhild and Wasser, Kai and Tonat, Tim and Moeller, Ralf and Hemmersbach, Ruth and Anken, Ralf Hendrik and Hauslage, Jens (2014) C.R.O.P. – Combined Regenerative Organic Food Production: Employing the Benefits of Natural Communities. In: 40th COSPAR Scientific Assembly. 40th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, 2. - 10. August 2014, Moskau, Russland.

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Official URL: https://www.cospar-assembly.org/admin/session_cospar.php?session=465

Abstract

The reutilization of nutrients bound in organic wastes for food crop cultivation is a central topic of BLSS (Bioregenerative Life Support System) research. The conversion of organic wastes into inorganic compounds utilizable by plants proceeds stepwise and each step is carried out by specific microorganisms with varying environmental demands. In BLSS design different steps are often allocated to different treatment units. Each unit is inoculated with selected microbial cultures and provides optimal growth conditions for these. The compartmented set-up is also often used in public wastewater treatment. But as wastewaters usually carry their decomposers with them, specified inoculates are only applied in special cases. Due to the highly variable composition of wastewater, diverse communities of microorganisms are found in treatment plants enabling these to cope with the unpredictable substrate. Although in isolated space habitats, microorganisms necessary for degradation will also be present on wastes and in wastewaters, their diversity will be limited to those species introduced into the system until launch. Therefore, it is crucial to establish a stable microbial community in the waste processing system that is capable to degrade all kinds of wastes, including micropollutants like pharmaceutical residues, before launch. The C.R.O.P. project aims at combining the utilization of liquid and solid organic wastes with soilless plant cultivation. The envisioned waste processing system is a trickling filter designed to join all required functions in one compartment thus reducing size and weight. To achieve this, the filter medium provides habitats with differing conditions so that a diverse microbial community grows as biofilm on its surface. We assume that, once established, such a quasi-natural community makes the system multifunctional with regard to the substrates that can be degraded, and stable with regard to invasion of undesirable microorganisms. Our current research focuses on the characterisation of the system's capability to degrade different substrates like urine and plant wastes and the usability of the filtrate as fertilizer. Molecular analyses revealed a variety of different microorganisms in the filters. Future research will address the question how to introduce specialised microorganisms into the system to enable it to degrade micropollutants, and the question how to maintain these during periods of absence of their substrate.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/94424/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:C.R.O.P. – Combined Regenerative Organic Food Production: Employing the Benefits of Natural Communities
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Bornemann, GerhildDLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Biomedical Research, Cologne, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Wasser, KaiDLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Biomedical Research, Cologne, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Tonat, TimDLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Biomedical Research, Cologne, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Moeller, RalfRadiation Biology Department, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne, Germany.UNSPECIFIED
Hemmersbach, RuthDLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Biomedical Research, Cologne, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Anken, Ralf HendrikDLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Biomedical Research, Cologne, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Hauslage, JensDLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Biomedical Research, Cologne, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Date:3 August 2014
Journal or Publication Title:40th COSPAR Scientific Assembly
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:Life Support Systems, wastewater, waste degradation, trickling filter, microorganism, soilless plant cultivation, urine treatment, fertilizer
Event Title:40th COSPAR Scientific Assembly
Event Location:Moskau, Russland
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:2. - 10. August 2014
Organizer:Lomonosov Moscow State University
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Biowissenschaftliche Nutzerunterstützung
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Biomedical Research
Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Duwe, Helmut
Deposited On:21 Jan 2015 10:27
Last Modified:21 Jan 2015 10:27

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