Expected Results

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

in brief


Providing a knowledge basis for developing
safe and efficient BBFs

LEX4BIO maps relevant NRSS across the EU and their potential and obstacles for replacing mineral fertilisers. Technologies for producing BBFs from NRSS will be assessed and the most promising candidates will be evaluated with regard to their effects on soil chemical, physical and biological factors, their overall effects on plant growth and agronomic P and N efficiencies in different climatic conditions in the EU, and related compliance methods for predicting their nutrient release pattern, as well as environmental protection and food, feed and human health. The ecological impact of BBFs, both for manufacturing and use, will be evaluated and socioeconomic constraints for increasing BBFs acceptance assessed. Taking these together, coherent policies for EU can be drawn, leading to a more prosperous EU.

Replacing conventional, non-renewable
mineral fertilisers with BBFs, reducing the external dependence and risks related to depletion, market variability, security and foreign policy

Variability in the quality of BBFs is a major challenge for achieving market acceptance of BBFs. In order to achieve acceptance of BBFs, LEX4BIO will assess their agronomic efficiency and effects on food and feed safety, human health and soil health. To enable the replacement of conventional fertilisers by BBFs, LEX4BIO will evaluate the soil status regarding carbon and nutrient requirements across the EU, addressing special requirements of regions, climatic zones and cropping systems (carbon and nutrient, including micronutrient, needs and deficiencies, soil characteristics, pollutant concentrations). Concurrently, BBFs will be analysed and characterised according to their performance in response to soil requirements (e.g. high/low C content, specific N:P:K+S+micronutrient ratios, slow/fast release, presence of contaminants) and their suitability for achieving higher nutrient use efficiency, environmental protection and human and food safety

Creating a coherent policy framework
for sustainable production and use of organic-based fertilisers

LEX4BIO will provide quality standards for BBFs securing environmental protection, food safety, human health and tools for assessment of EU soil nutrient status and fertilising value of BBFs. To ensure the implementation of practices provided by the project, knowledge transfer towards European and national policy officers and state and standardisation institutions is conducted through the External Advisory Board and National Dissemination Fora. It is expected that theLEX4BIO results will lead to a balanced application of BBFs across EU and will provide scenarios mitigating anticipated climate change.

Balancing nutrient concentrations
between or within regions, thus increasing resource efficiency

LEX4BIO will collect and review data on regional organic nutrient sources, as well as fertilisation demand, identifying regions with surpluses and deficits. Promising technologies for producing optimal BBFs regionally will be evaluated and benchmarked for their overall potential, including environmental impacts across the whole fertiliser value chain, from production to transportation and use. This will be achieved by evaluating regional soil characteristics and agronomic efficiency of BBFs in different climatic zones and trying to adapt BBF performance to soil, climate and cropping systems requirements, as far as technically and commercially possible. Hence, LEX4BIO will support regional stakeholders’ decision-making processes to find the most sustainable and commercially beneficial pathway(s).

Reducing the environmental impact
linked to the dispersion of nutrients present in waste flows, or to the production of fossil-based fertilisers

LEX4BIO will evaluate the ability of existing and new technologies to remove harmful contaminants from recycled fertilisers, linking this information to regional soil characteristics, including nutrient and harmful heavy metal concentrations, providing the best technologies for ensuring environmental protection, food safety and public health. Most efficient technologies must lower the negative environmental and food chain impacts, also compared to fossil-based fertilisers. In addition, regionally specific guidelines for the optimal application of alternative BBFs will be developed based on the assessment of agronomic N and P efficiency. Finally, full data transparency, close engagement with stakeholders and effective dissemination of results should support industry, farmer and end-user acceptance of BBFs.