CORDIS - EU research results

Developing a process for the production of an organic hydroponic fertilizer using nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria

Project description

An organic, natural fertiliser produced by hydroponics and sun energy

In the 20th century, the production and use of chemical nitrogen-based fertilisers enabled a substantial increase in crop growth. However, this excessive use of fertilisers has dangerously led to energy and natural resources consumption and CO2 emissions. Researchers today are investigating new, sustainable organic alternatives, as present methods remain expensive and unpredictable. In this context, the EU-funded Cyanobacteria project will produce and commercialise a groundbreaking natural hydroponic technology. It is based on a biological process that exploits nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria to receive nitrogen fertiliser directly from air and water with the help of solar energy. This technology will make the agriculture industry greener and more sustainable.


One of the major consumers in the world today of energy and natural resources, as well as one of the principal emitters of
greenhouse gases, is the industrial fixation of atmospheric nitrogen into available ammonical form. This procedure, called the Haber-
Bosch process, has been enhancing agriculture yields with synthetic fertilizers, enabling the great rise in the world population during
the 20th century, but at present times, it has reached a point where it is no longer sustainable.
Organic agriculture addresses this issue by using natural renewable resources to grow food ecologically. Technical approaches such
as hydroponics (and also fertigation and drip irrigation), do so by an efficient use of water and fertilizers to achieve higher yields.
These niche markets are embraced by conscientious consumers, and today boast a market value of billions of € and high growth
Combining the sustainability of organic agriculture with the efficacy of advanced methods require high quality, naturally or
biologically derived fertilizers. Organic fertilizers on the market today are expensive, unpredictable and their nitrogen is either not
available or has high sodium content, making them unsuitable for robust industrial use.
Our innovation produces nitrogen fertilizer from air and water, efficiently and ecologically in situ. The process we are developing will
harness the innate ability of cyanobacteria to fix atmospheric nitrogen into a stable form of ammonia or nitrate, using the sun as the
energy source. This solution will enable greenhouses and farms to sell organic produce at a premium while boosting their crop yield.
After we complete the feasibility analysis in this project, we aim to continue to SME Phase two in order to scale up our process and
reach a commercial readiness level. Then, we forecast sales of millions of Euros annually within three years, starting with our partner
greenhouses and proceeding to other projects internationally.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00
2703309 Kiryat Bialik

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 71 429,00