SUSFERT tests lignosulfonate soil improves

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.


Lignin, a by-product from the production of wood pulp, has the ability to act as a natural caption chelator of important plant growth promoting nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, zinc etc. The lignosulfonate soil improvers aim to help stop or reclaim unsustainable loss of the nutrient-rich top-soils and nutrients. Hence the SUSFERT soil improvers/conditioners will be supporting the greening and specialty high end applications in urban areas (e.g. urban parks, playgrounds, golf lawns, sport fields).


For this a number of activities are underway including production, characterization and optimization of lignosulfonates soil improvers, green house trials and most recently field trials. These field trials were set in Marchfeld, near Vienna and is the first trial of these promising natural caption chelators.


Figure 1: Marking of the fields to allow comparison of application

With the help of BOKU and under the management of researcher Renate Weiss, the fielders marked out an area which would act as the test sample to see if the lignosulfonate soil improvers are more effective that the current methods of fertilising. This will allow to compare current practice and different formulations over the course of the season.


Figure 2: Soil improver application

The aim is to demonstrate that the SUSFERT soil improvers will ensure future capturing of nutrients/fertilizers and maintain soil fertility years after application, thereby increasing efficiency and reducing frequency of fertilisers application.


SUSFERT aims to promote the use of soil improvers and therefore to reduce demand for plasticized solutions. Other effects include a reduction of over fertilisation, and reduction/replacement of harmful fertilisers. Other zero pollution effects include a reduction of plastic production for artificial lawns, thereby also the recycling of plastic from utilised plastic lawns, the vitalisation of waste lands with nutrient-rich top-soils, water saving as the soil improvers also maintain soil fertility over long periods of time, ultimately also resulting in less water waste.

See the making of the field trials SUSFERT Soil improvers field trials