BaMS Roadmap

Nutrients such as nitrate or phosphate originate predominantly from human activities such as agriculture, industry and households (gray elements). Aquatic primary producers (esp. algae, aquatic plants, blue elements) convert these nutrients into aquatic biomass, thereby sequestering the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and relieving the environment. This occurs both in the wild (e.g., wild algae, reeds, and driftwood) and under human care (e.g., aquaculture of microalgae and macroalgae, integrated aquaponic systems, etc.). In addition, the inland and coastal waters of northern Germany provide aquatic biomass in the form of fish, shellfish, and other marine organisms (blue elements) that we humans are only too happy to eat. Another important source of high-quality fish and seafood specialties (e.g. shrimp) are aquacultures, i.e. fish farms from land or on water (blue elements). They produce high-quality animal proteins for human consumption while maintaining a low environmental footprint. However, the processing of fish, shellfish and co. always produces residues and side streams that find their way into the aquatic circular economy. Together with the plant biomasses, these raw materials end up in biorefineries (green element). These are specialized processing and refining plants in which new valuable and active substances are produced from the raw materials. This is done through various processes of extraction, drying, fermentation or other bioconversion. In this way, a high-value substance is generated from a low-value raw material, which can now be fed into the aquatic recycling economy with an increase in value. Beneficiaries and customers of these valuable materials are primarily industry (e.g. green chemicals, materials for technical applications), households (e.g. novel foods, cosmetics and commodities) and agriculture (e.g. algae-based soil conditioners, animal feed and functional adjuvants based on marine raw materials). This closes the circle of the aquatic circular economy.

Many of the processes described here, e.g. in biorefineries, require the use of energy, e.g. electricity and heat. Here, the use of regionally generated renewable energy forms, e.g. wind power and photovoltaics, but also industrial waste heat and geothermal energy, is particularly in demand. It therefore makes sense to locate biorefineries at sites where the distances to the sources of renewable energy are short and transmission losses are therefore low.

The concept of an aquatic circular economy is simple and seems logical. However, in order to be able to make well-founded statements about sustainability, safety and practical applicability, each individual element and their interaction must always be critically scrutinized and brought up to date. To this end, BaMS uses its own cross-sectional services and analysis mechanisms. They provide robust figures, data and facts. On this basis, the transformation to a biobased economy can be achieved through the Blue Bioeconomy.

Our timetable for the blue bioeconomy

The members of the bioeconomy innovation area at marine sites have formulated a strategic research and development strategy for the blue bioeconomy in northern Germany as part of a one-year process of expert workshops and technical discussions (2017-2018).

The strategy is based on the conceptual assumptions of the cross-sectional topics according to BaMS:

1. Aquatic biomass production

Production, harvest and processing of microalgae, macroalgae, halophytes and aquatic plants in land and water-based systems with the aim of extracting aquatic biomass.

2. Relief of over-fertilized waters via biomass production

Extraction of microalgae, macroalgae and aquatic plants from water with the aim of obtaining aquatic biomass and biological remediation (bioremediation) of aquatic ecosystems.

3. More focus on lower animals as a source of biomass

Production, harvest and processing of lower aquatic invertebrates and aquatic, heterotrophic organisms in land- and water-based systems with the aim of obtaining aquatic biomass.

4. Linking agriculture and aquaculture

Coupling of the production of aquatic biomass (all types) with the treatment of nutrient-containing process and wastewater from aquaculture, agriculture and other industries and the extraction of nutrients from bodies of water.

5. Modern foods, raw materials and active ingredients

Utilization of aquatic biomass, as well as residues and by-products from the processing of aquatic biomass and fish processing, with the aim of obtaining pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food and feed, as well as raw materials for their production.

6. Optimal utilization of residues

Utilization of residues from aquaculture processes (all types), in particular sludge, as well as residues from the utilization of aquatic biomass, for the purposes of energy generation.

7. Risk analysis for new active ingredients and raw materials

Identification, analysis and evaluation of new active and valuable substances from algae with the aim of providing safe (in terms of GRAS and QPS) and economically attractive raw materials for the production of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food and feed, as well as raw materials for their production and chemical synthesis.

8. Circular thinking

Integration of the aquaculture of fish / crustaceans with other components of the BamS cascade (see project description), in particular the production and utilization of aquatic biomass and the closing of nutrient and energy cycles.

9. Modern animal welfare analysis and monitoring

Monitoring and optimization of animal welfare, performance and product quality in integrated aquacultures.

10. Regional development of the cycles

Utilization of regional, renewable energy sources in aquacultures (all types) and other processes of the BamS cascade (see project description), as well as their economic use after the EEG funding expires and / or operation when there is no grid connection.

11. Minimization of pollutants

Analysis, avoidance and reduction of the bioaccumulation of pollutants in processes of the BamS cascade (see project description), in particular the generation of aquatic biomass and its use in process chains of food and feed production within the BamS cascade.

12. Holistic thinking

Analysis, evaluation and optimization of material flows, energy flows and other components of the BamS cascade (see project description), as well as their integration with existing and potential value chains and interactions with the environment and society.