SUSFERT – Developing multifunctional fertilisers for phosphorus and iron supply

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/or at the right time to optimise plant growth.

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.

IMPACTS

The main expected impacts of SUSFERT 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
• 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

Approach & Work Packages

Objectives & Expected Results

SUSFERT Blog

ABOUT SUSFERT
OBJECTIVES
WORK PACKAGES
PRESS & MEDIA
EVENTS

SUSFERT in the news

SUSFERT testing lignosulfonate soil improves in field trials

SUSFERT has added another Key Exploitable Result to its long list of ambitious achievements of developing sustainable multifunctional fertilisers. In its striving to significantly contribute to the Zero pollution Ambition SUSFERT is developing lignosulfonate based soil improvers/conditioners to support real grass and limit the growth of artificial lawns reducing pollution from plastic lawn production.   […]

@SUSFERT_BBI partner @AciesBio fertiliser expansion featured in European-Biotechnology Magazine. New fertiliser will complement @AciesBio SmartRoute platform offering development of comprehensive microbial technologies from starting strain design to scale up and DSP development. https://t.co/duo264waHB
h J R
@SUSFERT_BBI
SUSFERT has added another Key Exploitable Result to its long list of ambitious achievements of developing sustainable multifunctional fertilisers. See the testing of lignosulfonate soil improves in field trials @BOKUvienna https://t.co/MLcAvOEEyN https://t.co/aWb8bTqj4b
h J R
@SUSFERT_BBI
Nikolaus Schwaiger @SappiEurope @SUSFERT_BBI research done with #universityantwerp demonstrating replacement of fossil fertiliser coatings by renewable lignosulfonates provides greenhouse gas savings of up to 4kg CO2 per kg product compared to polyurethane. #zeropollution https://t.co/qmCcnesfRN
h J R
@SUSFERT_BBI
Günter Brader @AITtomorrow2day showcasing the Impacts of @SUSFERT_BBI towards zero pollution @RTDS_Group #EUGreenWeek partner event. Full presentation available soon. https://t.co/mOZCZcEBje https://t.co/fnLi4uNyoZ
h J R
@SUSFERT_BBI

Testimonials on sustainable economy

The partner institutions understood from the very beginning what was important for the economy and for the future of Europe.

The bioeconomy holds some of the answers to the economic challenges thrown up by mitigating climate change while maintaining growth and societal wellbeing. (from the scientific article “The bioeconomy, the challenge of the century for policy makers” in “New Biotechnology”, Vol. 40A, 11-19)

The Bioeconomy holds enormous potential for growth and job creation and it will play a major role in the creation of Europe’s new smart and resource-efficient economy.

The bioeconomy is a very important subject that requires EU-wide action and it is now stated explicitly as part of the 9 EU objectives.

SUSFERT in a nutshell

The SUSFERT consortium

Fact box

Title: Sustainable multifunctional fertiliser – combining bio-coatings, probiotics and struvite for phosphorus and iron supply
Start: 1st May 2018
Duration: 5 years
Keywords: fertiliser, sustainability, agriculture, plant nutrition, phosphorus, iron, coating, probiotics, struvite
Budget: € 9.4 Million
BBI-JU funding: € 6.6 Million

Project partners

Coordination: RTDS Group, AT
Research partners: Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT): Scientific coordination, AT | University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), AT | University of Antwerp, BE
SMEs: Acies Bio, SI | ABiTEP, DE
Industry:  Agrana Research & Innovation Center (ARIC), AT | AGRANA Stärke, AT | AgroInnovation International (Roullier), FR | Timac Agro Düngemittel, AT | Sappi, NL/AT

Acknowledgements

This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI-JU) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 792021.