Sustainable Substrate Award

BOKU student gets awarded with the best "Sustainable Substrate" award.

Master’s of Science student Sean Anayah in the EnvEuro curriculum at BOKU competed with his team in the “Design an Urban Greenhouse” competition where they were awarded with the best “Sustainable Substrate” award. The competition was hosted at the Wageningen University and Research Orion Campus in the Netherlands. His team collaborated over nine months to design an urban greenhouse to provide food production in an urban neighborhood. This effort connects local resource and energy flows to engage citizens to produce and consume sustainably produced healthy food. A business and social plan, architecture and greenhouse design, as well as technical and environmental aspects were all incorporated to create a concept vision during the competition. The team, GreenSpark, was recognized by one of the sponsors, Klasmann-Deilmann, a leader in global substrate design, through the award. The substrate incorporates biochar, a carbon based residue co-produced through a process called pyrolysis. Biochar has significant potential in sequestering carbon, providing nutrients to agricultural crops, and can even be used as a fuel energy. The substrate was produced in collaboration with the Institute of Chemical and Energy Engineering (IVET, H893) under the supervision of Univ.Prof. Dr. Christoph Pfeifer and Dr. Rafat Al Afif. Mr. Anayah is currently writing his master’s thesis on the subject and has become a believer in the co-benefits provided by biochar as an innovative product. For more information please visit: