Optimising bio-based fertilisers in agriculture


Providing a knowledge basis for new policies

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 818309 (LEX4BIO). This output reflects only the author’s view and the European Union cannot be held responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

Optimising usage of bio-based fertilisers (BBFs)

Imported mineral phosphate and fossil energy-intensive nitrogen fertilisers cause major detrimental impacts on the environment, whilst nutrient-rich side-streams/organic waste remain under-used.

By optimising usage of bio-based fertilisers (BBF) from side-streams, ensuring their safety, building evidence-based trust in their usage and developing legislative framework for their use, it will be possible to reduce dependence upon mineral/fossil fertilisers, benefiting the environment and the EU’s economy.

LEX4BIO aims to achieve this goal by collecting and processing regional nutrient stock, flow, surplus and deficiency data, and reviewing and assessing the required technological solutions. Socioeconomic benefits and limitations to increase substitution of mineral fertiliser for BBFs will be analysed.

A key result of LEX4BIO will be a universal, science-based toolkit for optimising the use of BBFs in agriculture and to assess their environmental impact in terms of non-renewable energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and LCA impact. 


Horizon 2020 (H2020)

TYPE OF action

Research & Innovation Action (RIA)


June 2019 – May 2023


21 partners in 14 European countries


CE-RUR-08-2018: Closing nutrient cycles

eu contribution

5 999 969 EUR

Lex4bio Overview 

Lex4bio goals in the EU agronomic context

Decrease European dependency on finite apatite-based phosphorus and energy-intensive mineral nitrogen  fertiliser

Our approach

A interdisciplinary and complementary approach, from BBBs identification to assessment, LCA and results’ diffusion 

Beyond Lex4bio

Ensure cross-cooperation & cross-dissemination with a network of EU major players, clusters & projects                         

Resulting in a new framework for BBFs acceptance

Provide  a policy framework for EU’s transition to BBFs, while minimising risks to the environment, ensuring food safety and supply, and protecting human health

Our Team

21 partners from 14 countries, covering Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Europe, securing evaluation of BBFs in all relevant climate conditions

News & Events

Learn about all the current and past activities of LEX4BIO, events, publications, National Dissemination Fora, and workshops

Lex4Bio Review Meeting

LEX4BIO team is proud to share that the project has recently concluded a smooth second periodic review and has been awarded a greatly positive report by the EC. We look at this as an outstanding achievement under the leadership of Lex4Bio coordinator Kari Ylivainio...

NERM 2024 (Nutrients in Europe Research Meeting)

Towards closing nutrient cycles for a sustainable future - from R&D to implementation Nutrients in Europe Research Meeting (NERM) 2024 is the final event of Lex4Bio H2020 project, where it will present key findings and analysis of biobased fertilizer field trials,...

Organic fertilizers in the field test – results from the first 3 years

LEX4BIO poster presentation at German Soil Science Society Annual Conference, Halle, 2 – 8 September 25 September 2023 For a second consecutive year, Dr. Elke Bloem of the Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI), the German Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants attended...

LEX4BIO presented at the fifth edition of the Wageningen Soil Conference, the Netherlands

8 September 2023 From August 28 to September 1, 2023, the Dutch Wageningen University hosted the fifth edition of the Wageningen Soil Conference – an international scientific conference gathering an audience of mainly scientists but also subject matter experts from...

LEX4BIO final National Dissemination Forum (NDF) in Denmark

LEX4BIO NDFs in Denmark are coordinated by the University of Copenhagen and have been traditionally organized in collaboration with the agricultural organization SEGES (the Danish National Agricultural Advisory and R&D center), as part of a cross-sectoral...

For Immediate Release to Media
From LEX4BIO Project
July 4, 2023


LEX4BIO Newsletter #6 is out!

We talk about soil, biobased fertilizers, nutrient recycling, bioeconomy. Join the conversation by reading our newsletter. Spread the knowledge and forward to fellow colleagues and friends. Subscribe to next editions of Lex4Bio newsletter here.

Field visit to validation trial of FiBL in Wallbach, Switzerland

On May 23rd 2023, the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) organized a field visit for the advisory group to their long-term recycled fertilizer field trial in Wallbach, Switzerland, which is part of WP4 validation trials in LEX4BIO project. The event was...

Lex4bio in practice

The optimisation of BBFs’ efficiency and safety, legislation, trust building and widespread implementation of their usage resulting from LEX4BIO are expected to positively impact on the environment and economy by reducing dependence upon mineral/fossil fertilisers.

Follow Lex4Bio on Zenodo!

Download our results and outcomes

Public outcomes provided by LEX4BIO partners through project implementation, Scientific Publications, Conference posters and Reports

Media corner

Communication kit – leaflet and brochure, Newsletters, Press Release 

“LEX4BIO supports the transition towards a circular economy by enhancing the use of nutrient-rich side-streams as BBFs. By optimising the use of fertilisers according to crop requirement, environmental impacts can be minimised and agriculture profitability improved”

— Kari Ylivainio, senior scientist from Luke & Project Coordinator

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