Project Summary

The ReNu2Farm project is designed to increase the recycling rates for the plant nutrients nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) in the primary food production chain in Northwest Europe (NWE). Up to now, farmers have essentially been using mineral fertilisers, for which the EU is heavily dependent on imports. Moreover, the production of mineral fertiliser requires large amounts of energy. Paradoxically, however, there are several regions with a nutrient surplus in NWE. There are also technologies for recovering those nutrients, but until now they have remained little-used by farmers.

The project strives for an exchange of nutrients between the following countries: IE-UK, DE-NL and BE-FR. In each of these areas there are regions with nutrient shortages and surpluses. Nutrient-surplus regions in NWE include the Netherlands, Flanders (Belgium), Bretagne (France) and Ireland. The regions that have great potential to replace mineral fertilisers, due to their high use thereof, are located in Northern France, Wallonia (Belgium), the East of England and Ireland.

First of all, the researchers are investigating the precise current situation on nutrients and technologies in the field of nutrient recovery in NWE. They will then deploy these technologies in practice, for both the production and upcycling of products from recycled nutrients. The largest waste streams for producing these products are sewage sludge, food wastes and manure.
The scientists are considering possible market barriers. They will then adapt the products so that they more closely match the needs of users.

On the basis of desk studies and info sessions with farmers comes an assessment of the regional demand for nutrients and performances of the products. In order to determine the potential for replacement by recycled nutrients, the researchers are collecting information on current fertiliser use and the types of agriculture and crop rotations for each region. From the perspective of the legislation it is also important to know the impacts of the products on the soil and the environment.

Where there are markets for recycled nutrients, what their pricing looks like and what the attitude of farmers and the policy is with respect to them are still open questions right now. The researchers are assessing the economic market value of the products on the basis of production costs and interest amongst the stakeholders. They are identifying legal pressure points regarding conditions and requirements on fertilisation management and transport.

The collected knowledge and techniques are being fed back to the stakeholders via articles, workshops and demonstrations. This will help overcome the knowledge gap amongst farmers. By spreading information and success stories, but also by further expanding to other sectors and regions, farmers will become better able to apply larger amounts of recycled nutrients over the long term.
The long-term goal is for farmers in the involved regions to replace 2% (-108,000 tonnes N, -8,000 tonnes P, -120,000 tonnes K) of the artificial fertiliser with recycled nutrients within five years, and 6% (-324,000 tonnes N, -24,000 tonnes P, -360,000 tonnes K) after ten years.


View the benefits of our hightech field trial fertilizing machine for complex fertilization trials

ReNu2Farm invests in a hightech field trial fertilizing machine for complex fertilization trials

Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
IZES gGmbH 17 Altenkesseler Str. , Building A1
Name Contact Name Email Country
University of Limerick Achim Schmalenberger Ireland
Munster Technological University Niamh Power Ireland
ARVALIS Institut du végétal Hélène Lagrange France
Soil Concept S.A. Marc Demoulling Luxembourg
Outotec GmbH & Co. KG Tanja Schaaf Germany
Nutriënten Management Instituut BV Romke Postma Netherlands
Universiteit Gent Ivona Sigurnjak Belgium
Inagro Inès Verleden Belgium
Institute of Technology Carlow Thomaé Kakouli-Duarte Ireland


Legislation on recycling-derived fertilising products: changes, chances and challenges

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Within the circular economy ambitions of the European Commission, a new Regulation for fertilising products has come into force on 16th July 2022. The scope of this regulation has been extended to include organic fertilisers, soil improvers and growing media and biostimulants for plants. It is intended to open the internal EU market to organic and recycling derived fertilising products. Read More

Inventory Report on Market Research on RDFs– (Demand Chain) in the Horticulture Sector

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The use of recycling derived fertilisers (RDFs), which are sustainable recycled fertilisers that come from a variety of sources, in agriculture across Europe, has been slow to date. However, through greater awareness of the benefits of RDFs, emphasis on sustainable agriculture and the impact fertilisers have on emissions, coupled with current supply issues of mineral fertiliser due to, Covid-19, the China export ban and sanctions on Russia, it is envisaged that the endusers such as farmers are more informed and encouraged to consider mineral fertiliser alternatives. In addition to the agricultural market, there is a sufficient gap in the horticulture sector, which has excellent potential for the use of these RDFs. Read More

The suitability of recycling derived phosphorus fertilizer struvite to replace synthetic phosphorus fertilizers in horticulture

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Phosphorus is a key macronutrient for all living organisms including plants. Agriculture is highly dependent on phosphorus fertilization in order to obtain high yields. However, access to phosphorus for agriculture is limited as several key sources of mineral phosphorus come from conflict areas. The EU has no major resources of mineral phosphorus and therefore needs to import this vital nutrient from outside Europe. A vital alternative is to change the current predominant linear economy model towards a circular economy, where waste is recycled and that includes the recovery of nutrients like phosphorus. The North-West Europe Interreg project ReNu2Farm has a track record in demonstrating the value of phosphorus sources from recycling derived materials for the cultivation of crops and for grasslands. Read More

RDFs have potential in greenhouses

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During earlier project trials, RDFs have been tested in agricultural crops and showed high potential for mineral fertiliser replacement. As quite some mineral fertiliser is used in greenhouses, they represent the second biggest market for possible RDF uptake. Therefore, as greenhouse require pure products, some of the most pure RDFs, namely ammonium nitrate from ammonia stripping and ammonium sulphate from chemical air washers, were then selected for greenhouse trials. Read More

Joint Position of European Projects On the need for an unambiguous definition by the European Commission regarding the waste/manure status of ammonium salts derived from off-gas cleaning associated to treatment of manure or manure-derived products

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ReNu2Farm CAP undersigned a joint position with European research and innovation projects on the need for an unambiguous definition regarding the waste/manure status of ammonium salts derived from off-gas cleaning associated to treatment of manure or manure-derived products. Read More



, Cambridge, UK

We warmly invite you to the 18th International RAMIRAN conference to be held in the historic University city of Cambridge, UK, between the 14th and 17th September 2020. RAMIRAN “Recycling of Agricultural, Municipal and Industrial Residues in Agriculture Network” is a research and expertise network set up over 25 years ago to improve nutrient utilisation and minimise the environmental impact from livestock manure and other organic material use in agricultural systems. This conference was last held in 2017 and attracts up to 250 delegates from across Europe and further afield. RAMIRAN 2020 will be organised by ADAS, Rothamsted Research and Bangor University and held at the University of Cambridge in Eastern England, UK.
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CANCELLED - 16th edition of the International Conference on Renewable Resources & Biorefineries

, Het Pand, Ghent, Belgium

Biobased solutions for climate change The 16th edition of the International Conference on Renewable Resources & Biorefineries will take place in Ghent, Belgium from Wednesday 3 June until Friday 5 June, 2020. Based on the previous RRB conferences, this conference is expected to welcome about 350 international participants from over 30 countries. Delegates from university, industry, governmental and non-governmental organizations and venture capital providers will present their views on industrial biotechnology, sustainable (green) chemistry and agricultural policy related to the use of renewable raw materials for non-food applications and energy supply. The conference further aims at providing an overview of the scientific, technical, economic, environmental and social issues of renewable resources and biorefineries in order to give an impetus to the biobased economy and to present new developments in this area. The conference will provide a forum for leading political, corporate, academic and financial people to discuss recent developments and set up collaborations. The three day international conference will consist of plenary lectures, oral presentations, poster sessions and an exhibition. Companies and research organizations are offered the opportunity to organize a satellite symposium.
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ReNu2Farm Seminar in the Learning Network of BSc and BSc (Hons) Sustainable Farm Management and Agribusiness in the Wexford Campus of the Institute of Technology Carlow

, The Wexford Campus of the Institute of Technology Carlow

In the ReNu2Farm project partners are very much interested in developing, testing and evaluating recycling-derived fertilisers (RDF) and demonstrating their suitability to replace their conventional traded equivalents. In addition to those, they are also interested in communication of project work to relevant audiences. Such target groups also include the so called “learning networks” which are groups of people training in relevant areas. One such expedition for outreach was undertaken on Tuesday 28 January 2020 by the ReNu2Farm Institute of Technology Carlow project manager, Dr Thomaé Kakouli-Duarte.
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Inagro in the field, tips & tricks for your soil, fertilization and crop protection

, demo location next to Floralux, Dadizele, Belgium

Inagro is active in many themes and sectors. In our test fields we have a lot of research into new crops, techniques and innovations. In addition, we also have a wide range of services. With the unique demo day 'Inagro in the field!' we want to bundle and demonstrate our innovations and services at 1 location on plots of fellow farmers! We look forward to welcoming you on Tuesday 10 September between 9.30 am and 5 pm. During this free experience day we give tips & tricks for your soil, fertilization and crop protection on 5 demonstration islands. Put together your own program and choose which demonstrations and information moments you want to attend.
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Founder Members Day of the Irish Nutrient Sustainability Platform

, Dublin, Ireland

The Founder Members Day of the Irish Nutrient Sustainability Platform took place on Tuesday 10th September, in Dublin, Ireland. The vision of the Platform is to promote the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal agenda – with respect to food, waste, climate, economic development and protection of the environment – across the Island of Ireland through a stakeholder-led coalition.
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Pioneering meeting: environmental and circular economy in pig farming

, Sint-Amandshof, Sint-Amandstraat 11, Pittem, Belgium

At the St.-Amandshof the pioneering meeting "Environment and cycle economy in pig farming" took place, organized by the UGent-Crelan Chair on 3 September. Various themes related to pig farming were discussed: nutrient recovery, possible housing systems, alternative protein sources and various fertilizer substitutes. During this information afternoon, UGent and Inagro gave a duo presentation about the use of VeDoWS manure in the pocket digester at Inagro.
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26/09/2019 - Demand for recycled nutrients in every region: tailor made recycling-derived fertilisers have the highest impact

27/04/2021 - Recycling Derived Fertilisers: what are they?

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