In mid January a group of young BLOOMers had a chance to visit the Polagra Premiery International Agricultural Fair. Equipped with knowledge about bioeconomy and its significance from the farmers point of view, students went to Poznań to learn more about the latest technologies in the service of sustainable agriculture. This was possible thanks to Claas Polska Sp z o.o. I Claas Academy, which creates and teaches the use of precision agricultural machinery that minimizes the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Precision agriculture is a farming management concept based on observing, measuring and responding to inter and intra-field variability in crops. The goal of precision agriculture research is to define a decision support system for whole farm management with the goal of optimizing returns on inputs while preserving resources.
For two days BLOOMers took part in a bioplastic creation workshops led by dr Maciej Guzik from the Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry in Krakow. They learned about different production methods and types of biopolymers, but most importantly, they created bioplastics themselves. Pseudomonas species – commonly found in the environment – are used to create this type of polymer.
The complicated process, in a nutshell, begins with creating the ideal living conditions for bacteria on a suitable medium. Then they are transferred to edible oil (it can be fresh or used, depending on the intended use) and start its fermentation. Stressing bacteria, for example by limiting their nutrients, results in their specific behavior – the oil they process accumulates in their cells in the form of tiny granules. Next, you only need to use the appropriate solvent – alcohol or ammonia, which releases bioplastic from bacterial cells.
Any forms can be formed from the resulting mass. The use of this material looks particularly promising in medicine, creating dressings for big wounds, skeletal reconstruction elements, cardiac surgery elements etc.
It seems like networking in the bioeconomy is starting to work. After the October event at the Ekosfera organic food market, two private schools came to us and asked to organize an information meeting on the bioeconomy for teachers and pupils interested in the subject. The specifics of work in both schools were a bit different – the morning event was intended for children aged 10-14, in the afternoon we were dealing with young adults aged 15 and older. All participants learned what bioeconomy is, how it fits into the assumptions of sustainable development, and why the world needs it, what biomass is, where to find it and what can be done with it. Younger students, apart from the presentation, could touch, smell and even taste different bioeconomy products. The older group was more focused on information exchange.
The event was conducted by participants of previous workshops: Ambassadors of bioeconomy: A series of workshops directed to young-ambitious, so they actually became the Ambassadors of bioeconomy knowledge for the first time.