“BioKer” is a lightweight aggregate developed by the University of Lodz, surrounded by biopolymers, so it can remove phosphate pollutants from the aquatic environment without using soil, stimulate the growth of microorganisms or support plants Grow.
Invention developed by Paweł Jarosiewicz and professor. Maciej Zalewski of the Department of Applied Ecology, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Lodz, won the gold medal at the Invention Expo in Paris.
Paweł Jarosiewicz emphasized that water pollution, especially in urban areas, has become extremely troublesome in the 21st century. A universal material used to improve the quality of the environment suffering from long-term drought (such as drought). In cities, rainwater is rainwater, but we have not adequately managed reservoirs. It contains many pollutants collected from streets and paved roads, and these pollutants enter rivers or reservoirs directly.
Ecohydrology is a science developed by his professors and his team. Maciej Zalewski of the University of Lodz. As Jarosiewicz explained, ecological hydrology mainly involves dual regulation, that is, we can use hydrological factors and water quality.
This is the starting point for the development of the sequential water polishing system, which is the combination and enhancement of the naturally occurring processes in nature.
The sequential system mainly consists of three areas: the post-fermentation area, the geochemical area, where pollutants are directly captured from water and biological processes involving plants or bacteria. These pollutants also help treat and remove pollutants. “By using these processes, we can enhance its operations in a small area to purify water quality”-the scientist explained.
Researchers in Lodz focused on geochemical processes in their invention-mainly adsorption, which captures pollutants from the aquatic environment.
“The project we have developed is a lightweight ceramic aggregate coated with a biopolymer that can contain substances that impart unique properties to a given barrier. Therefore, by making appropriate modifications to the biopolymer shell, we can For example, capture phosphate ions from the aquatic environment, stimulate the growth of surface microorganisms, or support plants to resist pollution.” -Jarosiewicz emphasized.
Based on previous experience, including from the Lodz Arturówek reservoir cleaning project, the scientists managed to select the natural mineral components that most effectively capture pollutants from the environment. “Based on this knowledge, we have created such additional products in the invention that can greatly improve its effectiveness”-Ecohydrologist evaluation.
The “BioKer” particle barrier can be placed on streams or water bodies to allow fish or other aquatic organisms to pass. Such a barrier can filter the water flowing along the riverbed or the entire reservoir. In this way, the contaminants that flow with the water remain in the barrier and are cross-linked in our invention, while the clean water will penetrate further. “Jarosiewicz added.
The unique feature of the present invention is the fact that the particles can be reused, which is part of the concept of circular bioeconomy. “Phosphorus is a pollutant of water. On the other hand, it is also an ideal fertilizer for plants. Therefore, phosphorus can be recovered from the environment and then used as a source of fertilizer in plant cultivation. In addition, we can regenerate the system through a simple thermal process, And reintroduce particles into the entire water purification process.”-Co-creator of the solution.
The invention is also suitable for hydroponic culture, that is, soilless culture. These crops also use lightweight ceramic aggregates, but do not have a biopolymer shell.
“Through coating, we can also introduce suitable conditions for plant growth, such as adjusting the pH value, or introducing certain trace elements, which make it difficult for growers to keep the solution flowing under the root zone. Thanks to our solution, they Will be continuously sent to plants.
He believes that the use of lightweight ceramic aggregates will reduce the weight of the current permeability barriers in river or reservoir systems constructed of limestone, even by ten times. He added: “In this way, we have obtained a grating that can be easily replaced after, for example, three years.”
Currently-as part of the Innovation Incubator + project coordinated by the University of Łódź Technology Transfer Center, work is underway to optimize the invention so that it will be ready for market launch in September this year. Paweł Jarosiewicz concluded: “We see a huge opportunity for commercialization.”
PAP-Science of Poland
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