HaFF – Halophytes and other macrophytes for filtration of nutrient-loaded wastewater and surface water in outdoor culture

Project description:

Land-based aquaculture systems with marine species have so far been complex and cost-intensive due to the high technical effort required for wastewater treatment. The use of flow-through systems with seawater or saline groundwater requires the efficient treatment of the resulting wastewater, for which no conclusive concepts exist yet.

For the development of a wastewater treatment plant for saline wastewater, halophytes (salt plants) are used because they can contribute to nutrient reduction and contain promising ingredients for human nutrition.

Different halophytes are used at two sites, the Kiel aquaculture farm “Förde-Garnelen” and Kieler Meeresfarm, which are being developed into stationary or transportable biofilter systems. The third project site is located in the highly eutrophic and less saline waters of the inner coastal waters of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Here, floating islands made of completely biodegradable and regionally produced plant materials are to form the habitat for various marsh and medicinal plants that absorb dissolved nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus compounds and contribute to improving water quality in a variety of ways

Our tasks:

  • Project coordination
  • Conceptual design of the saltwater plant treatment facility
  • Organization of monitoring and preparation of a nutrient balance sheet
  • Product formulation
  • Development of utilization concepts for halophytes, evaluation of ecosystem services and public relations work

Project staff:

  • Dipl.-Biol. Martina Mühl
  • Dr. Sven Petersen
  • Dipl.-Biol. Verena Sandow

Funding by: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework of the innovation space “Bioeconomy at Marine Sites”

Period: April 2020 to March 2022

Project partner:

  • EUCC-D-Die Küsten Union Deutschland e.V.
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Marine Biotechnology and Cell Engineering EMB
  • Hanffaser Uckermark eG
  • Kieler Meeresfarm GmbH
  • N.A.T. GbR, ecological engineering planning office
  • Re-nature GmbH


Dipl.-Biol. Martina Mühl