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Austrian scientists visit
A delegation of Austrian scientists from the University of Natural Resources and Bioscience, Vienna, attended Kremenchuk Mykhailo Ostrohradskyi National University (KrNU) with a working visit from 16 to 20 October within the framework of Ukrainian-Austrian bilateral project The methods of processing the biomass of cyanobacteria causing bloom in water reservoirs. The delegation included leading scientists: Doctor Gnther Bochmann (the leader of the group), Doctor Katharina Meixner, researcher Wolfgang Gabauer.

The project aims at processing the biomass of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) that intensely develop in the water reservoirs of the Dnipro cascade. The use of the innovation will make it possible to provide farms with cheap methane and fertilizers, to improve the ecological condition of the Dnipro river, the riverside settlements and recreation sites, to increase fish fertility and also to decrease the cost of water purification.

Cyanobacteria processing is characterized by the following nature-protective effects:

− meeting the terms of the Kyoto Protocol which expands the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Rio de Janeiro, 1992);
− the accession to 2000/60/EU directive of the European Parliament and Council On the framework of the activity of the Community in the field of water policy of 23d October, 2000;
the application of an environmentally friendly energy-efficient method of seston collection;
the restoration of the damaged structural-functional organization of littoral ecosystems of the Dnipro cascade reservoirs (gas balance, hydrochemical condition, water toxicity reduction, ichthyofauna spawning, etc.);
the improvement of the environment and the health of the population due to the refinement of the quality of the natural water including drinking water;
the use of the manufactured product as a mineral-organic fertilizer in the agriculture and forestry.
Besides, the utilization also provides the following energy-resource and energy-saving effects:

the use of the free raw material as a fermentation substrate;
the introduction of the cheap production of gas and its transformation into electricity.
The algae gathered from the Kremenchuk water reservoir, whose area is 2250 km2, can provide up to 28.98 mln m3 of biogas (≈ 18.84 mln m3 of methane which is equivalent to 20 thousand tons of petroleum or 17 thousand tons of diesel oil.

The results of the work on the second stage of the project concerning the determination of the expedient methods of processing and utilization of the algae as a fertilizer were discussed during the visit. The methods and the methodical recommendations as to the use of the proposed ways were provided. In particular, a number of nature-saving measures aiming at the restoration, protection and rational use of the surface water were proposed as a result of the project work.

The delegation of Austrian scientists took part in the events within the framework of the project, such as a Skype-conference of the specialists of the main departments of the National University of Food Technologies, the Odesa National Academy of Food Technologies and National University Lvivska Politekhnika. The scientists presented their achievements in the field of ecological, energy and agricultural biotechnologies. The colleagues from BOKU presented their reports Application of anaerobic digestion and Digestate treatment and ammonia removal with hollow fiber membranes to the students and young scientists of the universities participants of the Skype-conference.

Other results of the joint research work include: the defense of seven qualifying papers of the Bachelor and Master of Biotechnology and Environmental Safety; the preparation for the defense of the Ph.D. thesis in the specialty of Biotechnology by S. V. Dehtiar, a Ukrainian participant of the project and the successful defense of the PH. D. thesis by Katharina Meixner, an Austrian participant of the project; the publication of a monograph; seven papers in research journals, inter alia two journals included into Scopus and Web of Science scientometric databases; the participation in international conferences both in Ukraine and abroad with the corresponding number of publications of the researched material.

The material of the performed research enabled the submission of an application for the project contest Horizon2020: H2020-LC-SC3-2018-2019-2020 ( BUILDING A LOW-CARBON, CLIMATE RESILIENT FUTURE: SECURE, CLEAN AND EFFICIENT ENERGY ) named Improvement of integrated technologies for obtaining biologically valuable products and sustainable biofuels using specially cultivated microalgae. National University Lvivska Politekhnika is the chief executor of the project; VLAAMSE INSTELLING VOOR TECHNOLOGISCH ONDERZOEK N.V. (Belgium), EGE UNIVERSITY (Turkey), Kremenchuk Mykhailo Ostrohradskyi National University, Lviv Ivan Franko National University are the co-executors.

The visit ended with the discussion of the lines of the further collaboration within the frameworks of the international projects Horizon2020, Erasmus + of the categories 1 and 2 and the inter-university agreements.