A plea for the integration of Green Toxicology in sustainable bioeconomy strategies - Biosurfactants and microgel-based pesticide release systems as examples

Sarah Johann*, Fabian G Weichert, Lukas Schröer, Lucas Stratemann, Christoph Kämpfer, Thomas-Benjamin Seiler, Sebastian Heger, Alexander Töpel, Tim Sassmann, Andrij Pich, Felix Jakob, Ulrich Schwaneberg, Peter Stoffels, Magnus Philipp, Marius Terfrüchte, Anita Loeschcke, Kerstin Schipper, Michael Feldbrügge, Nina Ihling, Jochen BüchsIsabel Bator, Till Tiso, Lars M Blank, Martina Roß-Nickoll, Henner Hollert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Web of Science)


A key aspect of the transformation of the economic sector towards a sustainable bioeconomy is the development of environmentally friendly alternatives for hitherto used chemicals, which have negative impacts on environmental health. However, the implementation of an ecotoxicological hazard assessment at early steps of product development to elaborate the most promising candidates of lowest harm is scarce in industry practice. The present article introduces the interdisciplinary proof-of-concept project GreenToxiConomy, which shows the successful application of a Green Toxicology strategy for biosurfactants and a novel microgel-based pesticide release system. Both groups are promising candidates for industrial and agricultural applications and the ecotoxicological characterization is yet missing important information. An iterative substance- and application-oriented bioassay battery for acute and mechanism-specific toxicity within aquatic and terrestrial model species is introduced for both potentially hazardous materials getting into contact with humans and ending up in the environment. By applying in silico QSAR-based models on genotoxicity, endocrine disruption, skin sensitization and acute toxicity to algae, daphnids and fish, individual biosurfactants resulted in deviating toxicity, suggesting a pre-ranking of the compounds. Experimental toxicity assessment will further complement the predicted toxicity to elaborate the most promising candidates in an efficient pre-screening of new substances.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127800
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2022


  • Animals
  • Ecotoxicology
  • Fishes
  • Hazardous Substances
  • Humans
  • Microgels
  • Pesticides/toxicity
  • Green Chemistry
  • Mechanism-specific toxicity
  • Agriculture
  • Aquatic models
  • Bioassays
  • Terrestrial models
  • Green Engineering
  • QSAR
  • Acute toxicity

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