The challenge: Agriculture depends heavily on the use of non-renewable, resource-intense fertilisers to meet the ever rising demand for food and feed. The major fertiliser component phosphorus is mined and has been identified as a critical resource with 90% being imported into the EU. At the same time, there is a huge loss of nutrients from fertilisers in agriculture because they are often not available at the right amounts and at the right time to optimise plant growth.
The Solution: SUSFERT develops more sustainable, multifunctional fertilisers for phosphorus and iron supply fitting into existing production processes and EU agricultural practice. It combines bio-based and biodegradable coatings for controlled release, probiotics to increase nutrient availability and the renewable phosphorous source struvite. SUSFERT demonstrates fertiliser efficacy for major crops, evaluates the economic potential and sustainability of the tested products, ensures regulatory compliance and finally prepares market entry.
The main impacts: The main expected impacts are:
- Decrease dependency on mined phosphate rock by 40%
- Strengthen the circular economy by valorising waste and by-products from wastewater treatment, bioethanol production and pulp and paper mills
- Reduce soil and water contamination by developing at least 4 novel fertiliser products
- Strengthen rural areas by establishing local value chains and feedstock sourcing
Development of all components and compound fertilisers is market driven, ensuring quick uptake in organic and conventional agriculture.
The funding: SUSFERT has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 792021. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the Bio Based Industries Consortium.
Media corner: https://www.susfert.eu/media-corner/
- BBI-JU Contribution: €6.6 million
- Start date: 01/05/2018
- Duration: 60 months