By means of material flow management, basic materials, such as organic waste and renewable raw materials, were assessed for TPS-production for each study area and subsequently embedded into future development scenarios. It was examined how far biogenic material circles can be optimised or even closed by use of Terra-Preta-Technology.

As a result of this added value process, the ecologic and socio-economic potential was determined for the artificially produced black earth. The crop production effectiveness and environmental compatibility of TPS was determined by tests in laboratories, by lysimeter and open land.

Three regional projects were specially selected for TPS utilisation due to specific problem solutions:

  • In regional project 1 (state of Brandenburg, county Teltow-Fläming) TPS shall be used on military conversion areas, which are contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and mineral oil hydrocarbons. It will be examined, whether the use of TPS causes accelerated pollutant reduction and whether this area is available for renewable raw material production.

  • In regional project 2 (Western Lusatia, county Oberspreewald-Lusatia) reclamation and renaturation of post-mining-landscapes is first priority. In this case, the project seeks for an upgrade of devastated soils for plant production as well as for restoration of soil functions and setup of organic soil substances.

  • In regional project 3 (state of North Rhine-Westphalia, city of Schmallenberg) reforestations of large scale windbreakage areas shall be supported by using TPS. Soil stabilisation, increased growth and survival of young trees and decreased nutrient losses are desired achievements.

Quality criteria were developed for soil nutrient reservoirs, pollutant spectra and organic substance for TPS production and utilisation. Hence, a comprehensive user guide was accomplished. 

Apart from that, potentials for sequestering through storage of stable carbon compounds from pyrolysis were determined. Capabilities for energy production as by-product – e.g. use of waste heat as a result of charring and fermentation of organic materials – were outlined.

Preconditions were assessed for the implementation of TPS producing pilot facilities in model regions with regard to regional material and energy flows. The joint project illustrated regional value adding chains and ensure transferability to other regions through development of a user guide. 

Target groups

The joint project aimed to support approaches and perspectives that alleviate area shortages by yield improvements and ecological upgrading especially in marginalised locations that are characterised by humus-poor agricultural and special areas. Furthermore, the project pursued re-cycling of devastated areas and brownfields for agricultural purposes. Therefore, communities and regions that were available of large-scale devastated and contaminated areas appear as the main target groups.

Project partner

  • Free University of Berlin (project coordination)
    Dept. of Earth Science – Organic Environment Geochemistry
    Prof. Dr. mult. Dr. h. c. Konstantin Terytze

  • areal Society for sustainable water management mbH
    Prof. Dr. Macholz Environmental Projects GmbH

  • Forschungsinstitut für Bergbaufolgelandschaften e.V.
    Dr. Michael Haubold-Rosar (director)

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology
    Dipl.-Ing. agr. Karlheinz Weinfurtner

  • Lausitz University of Applied Sciences
    Dept. of Information Technology / Electronics / Mechanical Engineering
    Prof. Dr. Stefan Zundel

  • Institute for Applied Material Flow Management (IfaS)