On June 3, 2016, the BioSC presented itself at the Bonn Science Night, which this year had the motto "Water Worlds". At the BioSC booth there were exhibits and participatory experiments for some SEED FUND and BOOST FUND projects that have a connection to water protection.
Around 18,000 guests visited the tenth Bonn Science Night in the main university building and in the Science Tent on Münsterplatz. Under this year's motto "WasserWelten" (Water Worlds), visitors were able to obtain information on topics as diverse as water treatment, weather forecasting or the path of water through sediments.
At the BioSC stand, four research projects were presented that are related to water protection. The first were the projects dealing with the recovery of the limited resource phosphate. Excess phosphate from fields and from the excrements of farm animals accumulates in water bodies and shifts the ecological balance there; it is lost for use as fertiliser. The AlgalFertilizer project is currently trying to bind phosphate from wastewater with the help of the microalgae species Chlorella vulgaris and to use the algae biomass to fertilize fields again. In the PhytaPhos and P-ENG projects, phosphate is recovered from sugar beet pulp or from rapeseed and sunflower press cakes from oil mills using enzymes. This means that it does not end up in animal feed and ultimately in wastewater.
Invasive aquatic plants can also impair water quality. The AquaPro project, which was also presented, deals with them. A number of invasive aquatic plants grow in Europe and their removal has recently been made mandatory by an EU directive. AquaPro is investigating how the large quantities of biomass produced could be used as a starting material for the production of valuable substances in a biorefinery.
Visitors to the BioSC stand had the opportunity to precipitate phosphate from wastewater in a participatory experiment and produce fertiliser for potted plants at home. In addition, chlorella algae could be observed under the microscope. A specimen of an invasive aquatic plant species was also shown.
Another topic that was addressed was the breeding of drought-resistant and flood-tolerant crops in view of climate change. Root pictures of barley plants with different water supply were shown on this topic.
The BioSC stand was well attended throughout the evening. Numerous citizens were able to learn more about topics of the bio-economy.