Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy

Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy
SEED FUND 2.0 project GreenToxiConomy

Green Toxicology for a Green Bioeconomy


Bioeconomic processes have the potential to significantly reduce environmental pollution through the production of more environmentally friendly substances and usage of sustainable resources and processes. However, even though these substances are derived from these sustainable resources and processes, they can still have an adverse impact on the environment. In cooperation with the three FocusLabs Bio2, CombiCom and greenRelease a substance- and application-oriented “Green Toxicology” test strategy consisting of ecotoxicological test systems and computational predictive tools for the identification of the toxic potencies of novel biosurfactants and microgel-based pesticide release systems was developed. Biosurfactants provided by Bio2 and CombiCom were extensively investigated for their aquatic toxic potency by bioassays covering acute aquatic toxicity (algae, daphnia, fish embryo), endocrine activity, mutagenicity and genotoxicity. Results indicate a similar or lower toxicity of the biosurfactants compared to commercially used chemical surfactants. With regard to their application in the field, this bioassay battery was extended for the investigation of the greenRelease-provided microgel-based pesticide release systems by additional terrestrial investigations (collembolan, earthworm). However, resulting toxicity of the microgel-based pesticide release system appears to be mainly attributed to the well-known toxicity of copper itself. This proof-of-concept study demonstrated a successful integration of a substance- and application-oriented “Green Toxicology” strategy in the development of sustainable and novel high-value substances.


SEED FUND 2.0 Coordinator

Prof. Dr. Henner Hollert & Dr. Sebastian Heger
Institute for Environmental Research
RWTH Aachen University



Prof. Dr. Lars Blank & Till Tiso, Institure of Applied Microbiology, RWTH Aachen University

Prof. Dr. Michael Feldbrügge & Dr. Kerstin Schipper, Institute for Microbiology, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

Prof. Dr. Andrij Pich & Christian Bergs, Institute of Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry, RWTH Aachen University and DWI - Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials e.V.


Funding period

01.09.2019 - 31.08.2021



GreenToxiConomy is part of the NRW-Strategieprojekt BioSC and thus funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia.