SUSFERT will develop sustainable fertilizers for phosphorus and iron supply for the EU agriculture that provide several much-needed functionalities in one. The products will be made from by-products from several industries and thus also be totally biodegradable.


H2020 BBI-JUI | Fertilisers | IA-DEMO


€ 9.4 million

Start date



60 months

Project details

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 five main expected impacts of the SUSFERT project are:

  1. Decrease dependency on mined phosphate rock by 40%.
  2. Strengthen the circular economy by valorising waste and by-products from wastewater treatment, bioethanol production and pulp & paper.
  3. Reduce soil and water contamination by developing at least four novel fertiliser products.
  4. Strengthen rural areas by establishing local value chains and feedstock sourcing.
  5. Development of all components and compound fertilisers is market driven, ensuring quick uptake in organic and conventional agriculture.


This project 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.

Information and views set out across this project are those of the Consortium and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion or position of the European Union. Neither European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use that may be made of the information contained herein.