The AGYA Science Comic is based on
“Facing the challenge of sustainable
bioenergy production: Could
halophytes be part of the solution?”
by A. Debez, I. Belghith, J. Friesen,
C. Montzka, S. Elleuche (2017)
Journal of Biological Engineering
11 : 27. DOI 10.1186/s13036-017-0069-0
This is a publication of the Arab-German Young
Academy of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA) at the
Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and
Humanities (BBAW) and at the Egyptian Academy of
Scientic Research & Technology (ASRT) with the
nancial support of the German Federal
Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
All rights reserved.
Authors: Jan Friesen, Skander Elleuche
Illustrations: Tyasseta & Siloy
Editing: Ahmed Debez, Carsten Montzka,
John Toland Van Stan
Layout: berbach GmbH, Agentur für Design
The Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences
and Humanities (AGYA)
at the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie
10117 Berlin, Germany
+49 30 20370-669
Science Jinn – Your Majesty has called for me?!
Sultan – My dearest Science Jinn, what I hold here in my hands is
the rst volume of our AGYA comic series “The HALOPHYTE tales”.
Science Jinn – Our rst science comic episode! Your
Majesty knows how much I love science!
Sultan – Do you remember that I asked four outstan-
ding young scholars from the Arab-German Young
Academy of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA) to
develop a concept of how to generate green energy
from halophytes growing in hot, aridic and salty
Science Jinn – Is Your Majesty talking about the review article in
which they explain how to identify halophytes, which are salt-
loving plants and how to determine their growth behavior with
regard to their nutrient requirements and soil conditions?!
Sultan – Indeed, they …
Science Jinn – …also mapped for Your Majesty the climate and
potential arable lands, where these survival artists do not
compete with edible food crops. Wheat and corn are usually not
able to grow on salty soils, so we can spare land intended for
Sultan – Very good, little Science Jinn. And do you remember
what they found out? Can we process plants that are rich in salt
for the production of biofuels?
Science Jinn – For sure, Your Majesty. The smart scientists said
that such plants must be physically or chemically pretreated to
release long starchy sugar chains from the inner cell walls. These
chains will be biologically processed to produce small sugar
molecules. In a reactor, the molecules can be directly converted
into biofuels. But there is a problem: Because there is high salt
concentration in the reactor, corrosion must be prevented. This
also means that the biocatalysts, which are either microbial
enzymes or the microbes themselves, must withstand the high
Sultan – Did my four scientists suggest a possible solution in
Science Jinn – Your Majesty’s four scholars proposed to identify
salt-loving microbes that thrive in the saltiest environments on
our planet including the Great Salt Lake or the Dead Sea.
Sultan – I am proud of my four AGYA scientists who found such
a smart solution! Could you explain to our readers, who or what
is AGYA again?
Science Jinn – AGYA was established in 2013 as the rst bilateral
young academy worldwide. The Academy brings together Arab
and German scholars from all disciplines to face shared challen-
ges and develop solutions through research cooperation. Your
Majesty can nd information on all the AGYA members on
Sultan – Let us now plan for the next AGYA Science Comic …
Download a digital version of this science comic on
The 1 st AGYA Science Comic
The AGYA Science Jinn reveals how it came all about…
My dearest Science Jinn,
this is great news: The
first volume of the AGYA
science comic is out!
It is my task to
translate the latest
into words that are