Team PhytoTowel come second at the Biobased Innovation Student Challenge Europe!

Huge congratulations to Team PhytoTowel for coming 2nd place in the Biobased Innovation Student Challenge Europe (BISC-E)! The team representing BiOrbic and Ireland was made up of Laura Healy, Charlene Vance, Jia-Lynn Tham and Alice Hand.

The BISC-E competition is run by the Biobased Industries Consortium with the aim to raise awareness and involve students in the transition towards a bio-based economy. The competition is for teams to develop a bio-based product or process, and present their ideas to a jury of experts. The presentation has to address sustainability, technical feasibility and economic viability of the innovation. While they don’t need to produce the product, they should make it plausible that it could work.

The Irish team’s product was called the PhytoTowel which uses a process called phytoremediation to purify water. The PhytoTowel uses duckweed, as a fast growing and absorbent plant, to absorb materials from impure water and filter out clean water instead. The used duckweed can then be used as a sustainable source of animal feed or fertiliser for farms. This has huge potential for making farming more sustainable! The PhytoTowel is a completely circular and sustainable system as it can clean waste water from dairy farming, and feed the water and duckweed back to the farms for feed and fertiliser. Their video presentation can be watched here.

A massive congratulations to the team again for this huge achievement! And well done to the winners Waterskins from the Netherlands with their project to turn wastewater into leather.

All the finalists videos are available to watch here.