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

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...

Potential of biobased fertilizers (BBFs) in agriculture

Julius Kühn Institut Field Day, Germany, May 2023   6 June 2023 On May 12, LEX4BIO partner Julius Kühn Institut hosted a field day in Germany dedicated to studying the potential of biobased fertilizers in agriculture. A fertilizer trial where different organic...

Soil Scientist Elke Bloem, Julius Kühn Institut, Germany about bio-based fertilizers and how to fertilize a private garden best

The scientists in Lex4Bio project analyzed a set of different bio-based fertilizers of different origin and processing for different contaminations. These activities caught the attention of a TV team from the German program WISO who were interested to learn which...


LEX4BIO project is currently conducting survey research to identify the crucial drivers and barriers regarding the replacement of conventional fertilizers by bio-based fertilizers (BBFs). The questionnaire is dedicated to four groups of main stakeholders in the value...

UCPH presenting LEX4BIO outputs at the Danish Plant Congress 2023

25 January 2023 The leader of LEX4BIO research activities on the agronomic efficiency of bio-based fertilisers as N source for crops, Lars Jensen, UCPH, was invited to the Danish Plant Congress 2023 (”Plantekongressen 2023”), held 11 – 12 January in Herning, Denmark...

LEX4BIO partner Lars Jensen, UCPH invited by AGRI as expert speaker at European Parliament’s public hearing on fertilizers and circularity in agriculture

A recognized expert in soil fertility and organic waste recycling, and partner and work package leader in LEX4BIO and Nutri2Cycle EU H2020 projects, Lars Jensen, UCPH was invited by the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament to speak...


On November 16, Dr. Else K. Bünemann-König, Head of the Department of Soil Sciences at the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Switzerland and work package leader in LEX4BIO made a presentation at the Autumn Conference on Soil, Fertilizers and...

Cross-H2020-seminar LEX4BIO & FERTIMANURE 2022 « Bio-based fertilizers of the Future »

A second cross-seminar of H2020 projects LEX4BIO and FERTIMANURE will be held as parallel session during the 3rd International Conference “Strategies toward Green Deal Implementation: Water, Raw Materials and Energy” organized by the Mineral and Energy Economy...

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

Get In touCh

Get any information regarding the project by contacting us