Factsheet: Bio-inspired Multi-Layer System

In a collaborative effort, WATERAGRI partners, alchemia-nova and University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) developed an advanced solution to address agricultural runoff, a significant concern in sustainable agriculture. This novel approach involves a multi-layer vertical filter system designed to treat runoff while offering additional economic and environmental benefits efficiently.

The system developed as part of ongoing initiatives towards sustainable agriculture, consists of three parallel IBC tanks, each with a surface area of 1.2 m² and a height of 65 cm. The tanks are strategically filled with different substrates, creating distinct filter layers to mimic a vertical flow filter system. This innovative bio-inspired design serves the dual purpose of water and nutrient retention, specifically targeting agricultural surface runoff.

The filters, designed according to Austrian guidelines for vertical flow wetlands, are equipped to measure various parameters such as ammonia, nitrate, orthophosphate, pH, EC, temperature, and soil moisture. The goal is to analyze the system’s efficiency in treating agricultural runoff under real-world conditions.

This WATERAGRI’s innovative solution caters to a wide range of stakeholders, including farmers, researchers, advisory services, and decision-makers in the agricultural sector. For farmers, it presents a sustainable solution for managing runoff, potentially improving soil fertility in the long term. Researchers benefit from real-world data collection, contributing to a deeper understanding of the system’s performance. Decision-makers gain insights into practical, environmentally friendly solutions, aligning with the broader objectives of sustainable agriculture.

This collaborative effort between alchemia-nova and BOKU marks a significant stride towards sustainable agricultural practices. The innovative filter system not only addresses the immediate concern of runoff treatment but also aligns with the overarching goals of the WATERAGRI project by promoting environmentally sustainable solutions for the agricultural sector.

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