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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2019-01-01 - 2022-12-31

Development on 100% bio-based NFC regarding formulations (e.g. fiber types) and processing (e.g. injection moulding and extrusion are in the focus) will be continued. Processes for the post-treatment of moulded parts by brushing, painting, coating, printing will be further evaluated. Extension of the permanent accompanying literature study with reference to new bioplastics and production of filaments for 3D printing.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2020-03-01 - 2023-02-28

The rise in antimicrobial resistances is a global threat to human health. Apart from hospitals, where multi-resistant bacteria pose an acute problem, the spread of human-derived antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and resistance genes (ARG) from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) into river ecosystems is of growing concern as river water is used for a variety of purposes (drinking water production, recreation, irrigation). Although an increasing number of studies have been published in recent years demonstrating the presence of human-derived ARB and ARG in rivers, no comprehensive quantitative concept exists that describes and explains the distribution patterns, and driving factors of human-derived ARB and ARG in these environments. For this project, a new quantitative concept was developed to study the distribution patterns, propagation pathways and driving factors of human-derived ARB and ARG along four rivers in Lower Austria exhibiting gradients in river size, land use, fecal pollution, hospital wastewater and potential co-selection factors. The following hypotheses shall be tested: (1) In water, human-derived ARB and ARG abundances are coupled to the extent of fecal pollution from WWTPs and to the extent of wastewater input from hospitals. This coupling is independent from the longitudinal development of the river. (2) In biofilms, human-derived ARB and ARG abundances can be uncoupled from the extent of fecal pollution and from hospital wastewater input. In the presence of specific ecological selection factors such as metals or pesticides, an amplification of ARB and ARG occurs. The new concept is based on the quantification of human-derived ARB and ARG in specific bacterial targets, determined in water and biofilms by a combined cultivation and DNA-based approach. This information will be linked with quantitative data on the extent and sources of fecal pollution (following the human wastewater path) and with a comprehensive assessment of the environmental conditions. This study will stimulate new ideas to understand and manage microbial water quality and antibiotic resistance in rivers. At the global level, the proposal is directly addressing the fundamental requirements of the research agenda defined for water, sanitation and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) of the WHO Global Action Plan for AMR. At the uropean level it directly addresses the concrete action plan to close knowledge gaps on AMR within the EU AMR Action Plan. At the local level, it directly contributes to the prioritised research area “Organic trace substances” within the “Water” topic of the recent FTI strategy for Lower Austria. Sustainable collaborations will be stimulated between the project partners of the ICC Water & Health at KL Krems, of the department IFA-Tulln of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna and of the Medical University Graz. By this, the project will contribute in a sustainable manner to the welfare of Lower Austria and beyond.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2020-02-01 - 2026-01-31

In cooperation with the Institute of Environmental Biotechnology, Caritas Gulu (Uganda) and Caritas Carinthia the project GEN – Green Energy and Nutrition will reduce emissions by substituting firewood with biogas as well as from anaerobic storage of dung. Compared to the three--‐stone method, as a result of the construction and proper operation of domestic biogas plants in Uganda, an alternative energy--‐efficient cooking variant can be offered. The biogas plants are expected to be installed with a size of 6--‐ 9m3 depending on how many households it should benefit and 9--‐13m3 for some schools, whereby all households should have an average of at least two animals in order to supply the biogas plant with enough materials. The Institute for Environmental Biotechnology will implement together with the University Gulu in Uganda inter alia a suitable construction of the biogas plants with local materials as well as a suitable composition of the input substrates and their logistics, since not all households may own animals and will be too far away from each other to connect them with pipes.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations