Project

CUBES Circle

Goal: Sustainable, ressource-efficient and adaptable production of food.

www.cubescircle.de

Date: 1 March 2019 - 1 March 2024

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Project log

Wael Yakti
added a research item
With the worldwide industrialization of black soldier fly (BSF) production, it is necessary to better understand how the rearing scale and larvae density influence the performance of larvae and the quality of the final product. In this study, a factorial experiment was conducted to test the effect of rearing scale and density on the growth and composition of the BSF larvae. The larvae were grown in four different scales (box sizes), keeping the area and feed provided to each larva constant and in two different densities. The results reveal significant differences in the larval growth depending on the scale and density, which could be attributed to the higher temperatures achieved, in the bigger scales with a temperature difference of more than 5 °C between the smallest and the biggest scale. Both the scale and the density influenced the composition of the larvae. The crude protein levels were higher on the smallest scale, and the lower density (ranging from 32.5% to 36.5%), and crude fat concentrations were the opposite (ranging from 31.7% to 20.1%). The density also influenced the concentrations of S, Mg, K, P, Fe, Zn, Cu, Al, B, and Co, in addition to the analyzed free amino acids PPS, ALA, CIT, and ANS. Furthermore, the rearing scale influenced the concentration of S, Zn, Cu, and Mo. The results provide further insight into the optimization of BSF production processes and the transfer of lab-scale results into big-scale production.
Victoria Dietze
added a research item
Die Ernährung einer wachsenden Weltbevölkerung, die daraus resultierende Ressourcenbeanspruchung und Umweltbelastung sowie die zunehmende Flächenkonkurrenz stellen die Nahrungsmittelproduktion vor großen Herausforderungen. Für eine nachhaltige, ressourcen-effiziente und anpassungsfähige Nahrungsmittelproduktion stellen modulare biobasierte Produktionssysteme (MBBP) im urbanen Raum einen neuen Ansatz dar. Daher existieren weder eine einheitliche Rahmengesetzgebung noch etablierte Genehmigungsverfahren für solche Produktionssysteme, woraus sich erhebliche Hürden für deren Entwicklung und Implementierung ergeben könnten. Das vorliegende Paper untersucht den institutionellen Rahmen für die Entwicklung und Implementierung von MBBP im urbanen Raum auf Basis einer Literaturstudie und Interviews mit Expertinnen und Experten. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass eine Vielzahl von formellen und informellen Institutionen die Entwicklung und Implementierung von MBBP beeinflussen und damit einen entscheidenden Einfluss auf die Realisierung und Akzeptanz solcher Produktionssysteme in der Gesellschaft haben und zu Unsicherheiten innerhalb des Innovationsprozesses führen können. Der vorliegende Beitrag zeigt auf, dass neue Lebensmittelregularien benötigt werden, welche die Art der Produktion, die Produkte und den Ort und den Kontext von MBBP berücksichtigen.
Dennis Dannehl
added a research item
Concepts of semi-closed greenhouses can be used to save energy, whereas their technical equipment often causes a decrease in the light received by the plants. Nevertheless, higher yields are achieved, which are presumably triggered by a higher CO2 concentration in the greenhouse and associated higher photosynthesis because of the technical cooling and the longer period of closed ventilation. Therefore, we examined the effects of photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) and CO2 concentration on plant photosynthesis and transpiration in tomato using a multiple cuvette gas exchange system. In a growth chamber experiment, we demonstrated that a light-mediated reduction in photosynthesis can be compensated or even overcompensated for by rising CO2 concentration. Increasing the CO2 concentration from 400 to 1000 µmol mol−1 within the PPFD range from 303 to 653 µmol m−2 s−1 resulted in an increase in net photosynthesis of 51%, a decrease in transpiration of 5 to 8%, and an increase in photosynthetic water use efficiency of 60%. Estimations showed that light reductions of 10% can be compensated for via increasing the CO2 concentration by about 100 µmol mol−1 and overcompensated for by about 40% if CO2 concentration is kept at 1000 instead of 400 µmol mol−1.
Dennis Dannehl
added 2 research items
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are an energy efficient alternative to high-pressure sodium (HPS) lighting in tomato cultivation. In the past years, we have learned a lot about the effect of red and blue LEDs on plant growth and yield of tomatoes. From previous studies, we know that plants absorb and utilize most of the visible spectrum for photosynthesis. This part of the spectrum is referred to as the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). We designed a LED fixture with an emission spectrum that partially matches the range of 400 to 700 nm and thus partially covers the absorption spectrum of photosynthetic pigments in tomato leaves. Tomato plants grown under this fixture were significantly taller and produced a higher fruit yield (14%) than plants grown under HPS lighting. There was no difference in the number of leaves and trusses, leaf area, stem diameter, the electron transport rate, and the normalized difference vegetation index. Lycopene and lutein contents in tomatoes were 18% and 142% higher when they were exposed to the LED fixture. However, the ß-carotene content was not different between the light treatments. Transpiration rate under LED was significantly lower (40%), while the light use efficiency (LUE) was significantly higher (19%) compared to HPS lighting. These data show that an LED fixture with an emission spectrum covering the entire PAR range can improve LUE, yields, and content of secondary metabolites in tomatoes compared to HPS lighting.
High-pressure sodium (HPS) lighting is increasingly replaced by LED lighting in lettuce greenhouse cultivation. In contrast to HPS lighting, LEDs do not heat radiation. Therefore, the leaf temperature is significantly lower under LEDs. This raises the question of whether LED lighting has a positive impact on the reduction in water consumption during lettuce production. In this paper, we investigated this question and found that the water consumption of lettuce produced under LEDs was significantly lower (−15%) than under HPS without loss of yield. We also found that supplementary lighting increases the concentrations of caffeoylquinic acid, dicaffeoyltartaric acid, dicaffeoylquinic acid and that of the total phenolic compounds in lettuce leaves by 61%, 39%, 163% and 38%, respectively. Only the LED fixture was also efficient enough to increase the concentration of caffeoyltartaric acid (+24%). Most of the phenolic compounds showed a very strong positive correlation with the chlorophyll concentration in lettuce, which predominated in the leaves exposed to the LED lighting. Based on these facts, we conclude that by optimizing the light composition, more sustainable plant production, higher concentrations of chlorophyll and some phenolic compounds are possible.
Christian Ulrichs
added a research item
Onset of salinity induces the pH of the leaf apoplast of Pak choi transiently to increase over a period of 2 to 3 hr. This pH event causes protein abundances in leaves to increase. Among them are enzymes that are key for the phenylpropanoid pathway. To answer the questions whether this short‐term salt stress also influences contents of the underlying phenylpropanoids and for clarifying as to whether the apoplastic pH transient plays a role for such a putative effect, Pak choi plants were treated with 37.5 mM CaCl2 against a non‐stressed control. A third experimental group, where the leaf apoplast of plants treated with 37.5 mM CaCl2, was clamped in the acidic range by means of infiltration of 5 mM citric acid/sodium citrate (pH 3.6), enabled validation of pH‐dependent effects. Microscopy‐based live cell imaging was used to quantify leaf apoplastic pH in planta. Phenolics were quantified shortly after the formation of the leaf apoplastic pH transient by means of HPLC‐DAD‐ESI‐MS. Results showed that different phenolic compounds were modulated at 150 and 200 min after the onset of chloride salinity. A pH‐independent reduction in phenolic acid abundance as well as an accumulation of phenolic acid:malate conjugates was quantified after 200 min of salt stress. However, at 150 min after the onset of salt stress, flavonoids were significantly reduced by salinity in a pH‐dependent manner. These results provided a strong indication that the pH of the apoplast is a relevant component for the short‐term metabolic response to chloride salinity.
Lennart Büth
added 3 research items
Urbanization and the limited environmental carrying capacity of our planet are crucial challenges for human kind. Industrial value creation and the production of goods have a significant role in the worldwide emissions pattern. A biologically oriented conception of technical systems with the goal of a sustainable added value is summarized as “biological transformation”. By bringing together the concentration of consumption, waste generation and more, in urban areas, with the biologicalisation of industrial value creation an opportunity arises to actively create bio-based positive urban production. Based on the principles of the biological transformation a framework is derived, stretching the design space between spatial urban levels and production life cycle stages, thereby fostering positive bio-based urban production. The design space is then applied, allocating current realization and envisioned cases as well as giving recommendations for future research topics.
Agricultural food production systems are essential to face current and future climate, food security and nutrition challenges. Several novel urban agriculture production concepts are utilizing symbiotic production and distributed/urban production principles to address these challenges. Life cycle engineering can support the planning and design of production systems and help to identify hotspots and avoid problem shifting. In this work the authors identify the factors resulting from symbiotic, distributed and enclosed food production, influencing life cycle inventory modelling for life cycle assessment. Based on the influencing factors a life cycle inventory modelling framework is proposed and the application pathway is illustrated by an in-development production system called CUBES Circle.
Technical systems are increasingly complex and interconnected, forming higher level System of Systems (SoS). SoS provide emergent functions which are greater or different than the sum of the functions of their constituent systems. To be able to assess the environmental impact of an SoS, a functional unit is required. Therefore, we discuss the opportunities of synthetic emergence to serve as functional unit of SoS. A deep understanding of emergent properties and the function of SoS is given. Finally, a comprehensive discussion uses the cases of smart energy grids and urban symbiotic food production systems for initial reflections about the concept.
Christian Ulrichs
added an update
CUBES Circle Flyer in German and English
 
Christian Ulrichs
added an update
CUBES Circle Poster in German and English
 
Christian Ulrichs
added a project goal
Sustainable, ressource-efficient and adaptable production of food.