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New bio-based fertilisers from organic waste upcycling

Project description

Training researchers to produce bio-based fertilisers

Rapid increases in food production will be needed to feed the world’s population – expected to rise from 7.7 billion people to 9.7 billion by 2050. This involves direct investment in agriculture. Just as important is the development of a circular bioeconomy to improve resource efficiency and contribute to a more sustainable farming sector. It is also important to move away from mineral-based fertilisers as these depend on the import of phosphate rock, a limited resource. The EU-funded FertiCycle project will train 15 early stage researchers to develop new processes for the production of bio-based fertilisers. They will generate, integrate and apply inter-disciplinary knowledge to develop new technical solutions for bio-based fertiliser production, management and marketing.


The world food supply needs to increase by 70 % to feed the 9 billion global population by 2050, increasing pressure on agriculture and necessitating further intensification. Currently, EU is heavily import dependent for more than 90% of nonrenewable phosphorus and synthetic nitrogen fertilisers, at large economic cost (€15 billion/y) and with negative environmental impacts from fertiliser production and use. Furthermore, phosphate has been identified as a critical raw material for the EU. We therefore need a new European effort to address ‘The Nutrient Nexus’, where reduced nutrient losses and improved nutrient use efficiency across all sectors simultaneously provide the foundation for a greener and more circular economy to produce more food and energy while reducing environmental pollution. European farmers and fertiliser industry thus urgently need techniques for increasing substitution of synthetic with waste-derived nutrients formulated into high-quality, bio-based fertilisers. However, this requires research into new processing, application and assessment and more innovative and entrepreneurial scientists capable of meeting these future needs - FertiCycle aims to to fill this gap. The objective of FertiCycle is to train 15 early stage researchers (ESR) to develop new processes for production of bio-based fertilisers, recycling wasted resources and to estimate the market potential and sustainability challenges of their production and use. The training program aims to enable the ESR to generate, integrate and apply inter-disciplinary knowledge for developing new technical solutions for bio-based fertiliser production, management and marketing, and will give them competences for inter-sectoral work and international collaboration in industry and academia. FertiCycle outcomes will be 15 trained scientists; required technologies, knowhow and market concepts from which innovative new bio-based fertiliser products can develop to proof-of-concept level with industry.


Net EU contribution
€ 892 566,00
Norregade 10
1165 Kobenhavn

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Danmark Hovedstaden Byen København
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (9)