Bioeconomy Science Center
Research and cooperation for a sustainable bioeconomy

Bioeconomy Science Center
Research and cooperation for a sustainable bioeconomy

BioSC Spotlight

The BioSC event series „Spotlight“ was initiated in the beginning of 2017. In each Spotlight, a selected topic relevant to bioeconomy is being discussed by BioSC scientists and external experts during a one-day event.

Photos: Fotolia (1), Forschungszentrum Jülich (2,3), RWTH Aachen University (4)


3rd BioSC Spotlight:

Phosphorus recovery and cycling for an independent and sustainable bioeconomy

Phosphor is an essential plant nutrient, but reserves of this finite resource occur outside Europe, creating a strong dependency to the value market and directly influencing farmers’ yields. Additionally, considerable amounts of applied phosphate leach into water or accumulate in the soil as fixed inorganic P forms or as for plant and animals indigestible form (phytate), leading to significant impact on the environment. Especially the re-use of Phosphorus for fertilizing is of great importance due its unequal and limited global distribution, the entry of heavy metals into food chains by mineral P fertilization, and the necessary removal of Phosphor from waste streams, e.g. by waste water treatment regulations. This Phosphor stewardship is of prime importance for an integrated bioeconomy to ensure a sufficient food production of a growing world population.

Different approaches towards Phosphor recovery and recycling have been investigated lately (e.g. transferring Phosphor from waste streams to crops by microalgae or isolating phosphate from the plant storage compound phytate through enzymatic hydrolysis). In the frame of the 3rd BioSC Spotlight event, current developments will be presented by scientists as well as stakeholders from industry and possible future directions will be discussed.

Participation is free of charge. Places are limited.

Date: 15. June 2018 (Please note: change of date!)
Venue: Otto-Bayer-Saal | RWTH Aachen l Worringerweg 1-2, 52074 Aachen
Organisation: Dr. Anna Joëlle Ruff (RWTH Aachen), Dr. Christina Schreiber (Forschungszentrum Jülich), Dr. Heike Baron (BioSC Office)

Registration is open! Please register until 25.May 2018.

If you are interested in presenting a poster, please contact the BioSC office.


Preliminary Agenda

10:30 Welcome and Introduction 
10:45 Keynote
Phosphorus recycling: Facts and perspectives
Dr. Rainer Schnee ,
Deutsche Phosphor-Plattform e.V., Board of Directors
Phytases for phosphate recovery from plant residues

Session chair: Dr. Anna Joëlle Ruff (RWTH Aachen University/BioSC)

11:30 P-ENG: Efficient phosphate recovery from agro waste streams by enzyme, strain, and process engineering Prof. Dr. Lars M. Blank, Institute of Applied Microbiology, RWTH Aachen University/ BioSC
12:00 Lunch
13:00 tba tba
13:30 Commercializing phosphorus from renewable resources: What are the major challenges? Carolin Block, Institute for Food and Resource Economics, University of Bonn/ BioSC


PhytaPhos: Optimizing the phosphorus cycle in the sugar beet production process by phytase supplement Dr. Anna Joëlle Ruff, Institute of Biotechnology, RWTH Aachen University/ BioSC
14:30 Coffee break
Nutrient transfer from waste water to algae

Session Chair: Dr. Christina Schreiber (Forschungszentrum Jülich/BioSC)

15:00 Phosphorus removal with microalgae – reduction of the effluent concentration from municipal wastewater treatment plants Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulf Theilen, THM Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen University of Applied Sciences, Competence Centre for Energy and Environmental Engineering
15:30 Detection and quantification of polyphosphate by means of Raman microscopy of microalgae Dr. Peter Mojzeš, Institute of Physics, Charles University, Prague
16:00 Algal Fertilizer: Algae delivering waste phosphorus to soil and crops Prof. Dr. Alexei Solovchenko, Faculty of Biology, Moscow State University
16:30 Closing Remarks
  Get-together with snacks and drinks