Instead of a single ball made of metal, many brightly coloured balls roll around here – in the “algae flipper”, which is currently touring Germany on board the exhibition ship MS Wissenschaft. The pinball machine of the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences (IBG-2) and the Bioeconomy Science Center provides a playful way to demonstrate how algae can be used to recover nutrients from wastewater: blue, green and red balls, representing water and nutrients, are passed over algal turf. The nutrient balls get caught and can be harvested. This principle, AlgalTurfScrubbing, is used in pilot plants in the greenhouse and at the sewage treatment plant of Forschungszentrum Jülich.
More about the exhibition and the tour of MS Wissenschaft at ms-wissenschaft.de/en
More about the algae flipper and AlgalTurfScrubbing (in German) go.fzj.de/algenflipper
PHOTO: Heiner Witte/Wissenschaft im Dialog