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FERTIPLUS – Reducing the use of mineral fertilisers and agro-chemicals recycling treated organic waste as compost and bio-char
A vast quantity of organic waste is produced annually within the EU. Agriculture is the biggest contributor in organic residues, followed by yard and forestry waste, sludge waste from water treatment plants, food processing waste, and an organic fraction in municipal waste.
Urban and farm organic residues are a large source of nutrients and today not used to its full potential. Biochar, compost and biochar-compost blend are products that have a potential to be used commercially in agriculture as an alternative or partial substitution to synthetic fertilizers. FERTIPLUS has taken up the challenge to identify innovative processing technologies and strategies to convert urban and farm organic waste into valuable and safe products for use in agriculture and horticulture.
We have focused on compost and biochar and a blend of both products. The most attractive options have been tested in lab and field trials. Based on our experiments we provide science based information on use, quality and safety of these products. This should allow industries to further develop these products.
We have concluded and communicated with EU policy makers on the options for regulation and revision of the fertilizer legislation to enhance safe use of these recycled products in agriculture. Waste processing considered in FERTIPLUS included biological treatment, composting, or pyrolysis resulting in biochar and combinations of such products including anaerobic digestion. We have suggestions on what characteristics make a good biochar and what functionality biochar would add to sustain and enhance soil properties and soil quality once applied to soils. And we have tested how biochar can be used in combination with composting or added to compost or in combination with anaerobic digestion to enhance the nutrient retention and nutrient use efficiency.
Our website at www.fertiplus.eu provides focused dissemination and communication with brochures and reports and findings from meetings on innovations with our stakeholders, farmers and extension services.
FERTIPLUS has worked with 14 partners and it has been a great pleasure to work together and the support from the EU FP7 programme and other funding has been greatly appreciated by all of us.
Fertiplus is coordinated by Dr. Peter Kuikman at ALTERRA at Wageningen University and Research Center.
Check out FertiPlus’ project brochure and learn more about this amazing project!
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