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C.R.O.P. – Combined Regenerative Organic-food Production: Using trickling Filters for Wet Composting in Hydroponic Greenhouse Cultures in Space and on Earth

Bornemann, Gerhild and Winzer, Felix Philipp Martin and Wasser, Kai and Kraska, Thorsten and Hemmersbach, Ruth and Anken, Ralf Hendrik and Hauslage, Jens (2014) C.R.O.P. – Combined Regenerative Organic-food Production: Using trickling Filters for Wet Composting in Hydroponic Greenhouse Cultures in Space and on Earth. Life in Space for Life on Earth (Joint Life Sciences Meeting of ISGP, ESA and CSA), 15 - 19 June 2014, Waterloo, Canada.

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Abstract

In the past decades the upcoming shortage of mineral oil caused intense public debates and research efforts on the subject of alternative fuels and the recycling of plastics. The limited availability of environmentally compatible fertilizer for food production purposes attracted much less public interest, but is of equal importance. C.R.O.P. is a sustainable concept for the improvement of organic wastes and wastewaters, which combines microbial trickling filters for waste processing with hydroponic plant cultivation on the basis of the resulting nutrient containing solutions. Although the trickling filters are designed as waste processing plants for closed environment systems in the first place, they are also suitable for nutrient recycling in modern hydroponic greenhouse culture. Wet composting of plant wastes comprises two steps, the first of which is the liquefaction of the solid parts and the second the mineralization of the organic matter. These processes require the presence of several microbial species with differing environmental demands. To enable the simultaneous growth of the necessary organisms in one filter unit, the filter medium has to provide the corresponding habitats. Therefore, our trickling filters contain porous lava rock as filter medium. The small pores of the lava particles form different habitat zones under the growth of the biofilm in which the outer layers provide oxic habitats for aerobic bacteria and anoxic habitats for anaerobic bacteria. Presently, three full-scale trickling filters of the type described with special adaptations for solids processing located at Campus Klein-Altendorf of the University of Bonn are in operation. Each filter unit consists of a tank that contains 800 l of water and a filter that contains 250 l of lava. The water is constantly circulated through the lava filter. Between 5 to 15 kg of shredded plant wastes were added every fortnight to the water (total amount approx. 120 kg). The waste was carried along in the flow, thus also passing the filter, and was liquefied within days. The process resulted in a clear and almost completely odour-free solution. After determination of mass concentrations of inorganic compounds by ion exchange chromatography the solution is used as stock solution for liquid fertilizer application in growth tests, which are currently in progress. To date we can state that nutrients, especially micronutrients, have to be added when the filter units are solely fed with plant wastes but the consumption of conventional fertilizer is reduced.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/94867/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:C.R.O.P. – Combined Regenerative Organic-food Production: Using trickling Filters for Wet Composting in Hydroponic Greenhouse Cultures in Space and on Earth
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Bornemann, GerhildDLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Biomedical Research, Cologne, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Winzer, Felix Philipp MartinRheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Landwirtschaftliche Fakultät, Bonn, DeutschlandUNSPECIFIED
Wasser, KaiDLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Biomedical Research, Cologne, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Kraska, ThorstenCampus Klein-Altendorf, Agricultural Faculty, University of BonnUNSPECIFIED
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:19 June 2014
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:waste water recycling, trickle filter, fertilizer, space exploration
Event Title:Life in Space for Life on Earth (Joint Life Sciences Meeting of ISGP, ESA and CSA)
Event Location:Waterloo, Canada
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:15 - 19 June 2014
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
Deposited By: Duwe, Helmut
Deposited On:27 Jan 2015 14:44
Last Modified:27 Jan 2015 14:44

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