Growth of some biological water purification systems (like mussels or aquatic plants) requires artificial structures as starting point. But artificial materials can long-term pollute the environment. In search of a functional structure, which does not harm the environment, ENEXIO Water Technologies, Bureau Waardenburg and Rodenburg Biopolymers partnered to find a solution: A biodegradable three-dimensional solid grid, the BESE-elements® (Biodegradable EcoSystem Engineering Elements) was developed.

Picture of BESE-elements® grid overgrown with mussels

BESE-elements® grid with mussels after one year of growth.

How do BESE-elements work?

At first BESE-elements® present a temporary structure and protection for organisms to start growing. After a certain time, sufficient adult organisms have grown and built up a structure on their own for younger ones to settle on. During this process the BESE-elements® break down and the organisms establish and enlarge their own structure.

Picture of white BESE-elements® 3-D grid – Habitat for water purification systems, for coastal restoration or protection, aquaculture

BESE-elements® - 3-D grid as habitat for water purification systems and for ecosystem restoration

Features of BESE-elements

BESE-elements® are made from grids, which can be stacked for transportation and then clicked together on site. They have a 3-D geometry, which combines porosity and sheltering surfaces. The renewable raw material is environmental-friendly, carbon neutral & non-toxic.

Ongoing Research

ENEXIO Water Technologies and its partners closely cooperate with the Department of Aquatic Ecology and Environmental Biology of Radboud University of Nijmegen.
There are ongoing evaluations of the BESE-elements®, not only for water purification but also for coastal restoration or aquaculture. The corresponding activities are mainly in Europe, but also in other parts in the world.

Potential Applications of BESE-elements:

  • Aquaculture (collection of oyster spat, protection for fish and shrimp larvae)
  • Water purification, sewage treatment, aquaculture and soil aeration
  • Base structure for the recovery of natural mussel and oyster beds
  • Coastal protection
  • Ecosystem restoration or protection (e.g. mangrove, seaweed, reefs, wetlands)
  • Habitat creation
  • Fortifying of lawns
  • Sand trap