biofuel news

The technology was originally designed for space: urine and waste are used to create a fertiliser that can help astronauts grow produce like tomatoes or lettuce. Now, this technology, made possible by the Combined Regenerative Organic food Production (C.R.O.P.) biofilter – developed at the German Aerospace Center- is proving useful on Earth in organic manure processing. A market study involving farmers is currently underway. At the same time, the biofilter is being further adapted and scaled. The first field test in the BiG C.R.O.P project will start in late autumn 2021.

“C.R.O.P. is a purely organic method of processing nitrogen-containing wastewater into a fertiliser solution,” explains Project Manager Tim Paulke of the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne. “The principle does not just apply to urine, either. It can also be used to treat farm slurry such as cattle manure or the products of fermentation without any issues.” This could lead to a reduction in the use of mineral fertilisers in mainstream agriculture. The system prevents excess nitrogen from entering ecosystems in the air, water or soil.

Microorganisms process nitrogen in the ‘reaction chamber’
The C.R.O.P method does not require any artificial chemicals or hazardous substances, but instead relies on natural metabolic processes. The system consists of a tank and a ‘reaction chamber’, which contains a large number of microorganisms. Bacteria, fungi and protozoa form an adaptable ecosystem that can process all sorts of substances, from nitrogen to phosphorus. “In the process, we see the propagation of the organisms that serve as a nutritional basis for the respective substances,” says gravitational biologist Jens Hauslage.

The idea of biofilters is far from new – the Institute of Aerospace Medicine has been researching scenarios for specific habitats and applications since 2011. It is also conceivable that C.R.O.P. could be used in cities: the filter system could clean sewage in residential areas and be accommodated within houses to save space. It is also capable of treating wastewater that is contaminated with medicines or drugs.

Possible application for greenhouses on the Moon or Mars
C.R.O.P. was originally developed for missions in space. Astronauts on long-duration missions need closed life support systems. This would also apply to stations on Mars or the Moon, where people would require a supply of breathing air, water and food that would need to be recycled wherever possible. Researchers could, for example, operate a greenhouse with treated wastewater.

TECH NEWS RELATED

Solar panel maintenance guide: How to clean and repair solar panels

Your solar panels will need occasional maintenance after they're installed.

View more: Solar panel maintenance guide: How to clean and repair solar panels

It’s time to stop demonizing “invasive” species

Marine ecologist Piper Wallingford was doing fieldwork on the rocky shore of Laguna Beach, California, in 2016 when she noticed a dime-sized creature she’d never seen before. It was a dark unicorn snail, a predator that drills into mussels and injects an enzyme that liquefies their flesh. “Then,” Wallingford explains, ...

View more: It’s time to stop demonizing “invasive” species

Best Carbon Footprint-Tracking Apps 2021: Monitor Energy Consumption With These Android, iOS Applications

Human’s carbon footprint is getting worse as more and more people tend to use too much energy in their homes, offices, and other places.   (Photo : Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)A customer inspects the new Apple iPhone 8 at an Apple Store on September 22, 2017 in San Francisco, California. ...

View more: Best Carbon Footprint-Tracking Apps 2021: Monitor Energy Consumption With These Android, iOS Applications

South Korea’s KSTAR Fusion Reaction Breaks Own Record, Soon A Self-Sustaining Nuclear Energy Power Source?

South Korea has achieved a new record that beat its previous one for a fusion reaction with the KSTAR or Korea Superconductor Tokamak Advanced Research facility. The promising focus of “artificial sun” has been the focus of many ventures nowadays, aiming to debut their own nuclear energy power source for ...

View more: South Korea’s KSTAR Fusion Reaction Breaks Own Record, Soon A Self-Sustaining Nuclear Energy Power Source?

A new Supreme Court case could gut the government’s power to fight climate change

The Supreme Court announced late last week that it will hear four very similar cases — all likely to be consolidated under the name West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency — which could prove to be some of the most consequential court decisions in recent US history. That’s a bold ...

View more: A new Supreme Court case could gut the government’s power to fight climate change

Fake rhino horns were supposed to foil poachers. What went wrong?

Several years ago, a Seattle-based tech startup called Pembient turned heads when it announced a plan to 3D-print rhinoceros horns to help combat illegal poaching. The idea sounded simple: Hunters are killing rhinos for their valuable horns, so flooding the market with synthetic but otherwise identical horns could undermine demand ...

View more: Fake rhino horns were supposed to foil poachers. What went wrong?

When the world actually solved an environmental crisis

In 1985, atmospheric scientists in Antarctica noticed something troubling. For decades, they’d been measuring the thickness of the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere, the layer of gas that deflects much of the sun’s radiation. Starting in the 1970s, it had started plummeting. By the mid-1980s, they observed that it ...

View more: When the world actually solved an environmental crisis

The thorny truth about socially responsible investing

It’s easier than ever to invest ethically — or, at least, to be told by marketers you are. Whether you’re actually doing it is harder to figure out. Investors have become eager to put their money toward good in recent years. In 2020, assets under management using sustainable investing ...

View more: The thorny truth about socially responsible investing

The controversial plan to bring jaguars back to the US

The $5 trillion insurance industry faces a reckoning. Blame climate change.

Coffee as we know it is in danger. Can we breed a better cup?

Airlines to Have Electric Planes as Zero-Emission Solution! But, is This Possible for Commercial Flights?

Croydon gets smart bus shelters in London smart city push

Three Cheers for the UK Government Announcing Biggest Investment into Britain’s Tidal Power

What size portable humidifier do you need?

Microbes can provide sustainable hydrocarbons for the petrochemical industry

Chemical researchers invent bio-petroleum for sustainable materials

Tesla has installed the Powerwall 250,000 times

Dyson's Lightcycle desk light is expensive, but Black Friday discounts make it $100 more affordable

Nofar Energy Enters Poland’s Renewable Energy Market With Significant Initiative

OTHER TECH NEWS

;