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


ReNuMaps tool and full report now available online – insights in recycling-derived fertiliser demand

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ReNu2Farm aims to increase recycling rates of the main plant nutrients, N, P and K, by focusing on the demand of farmers. A study carried out within ReNu2Farm in 2019 under the lead of researchers from NMI (NL) and CIT Cork (IRE) is now published online and in full length. The work was previously presented at several meetings and conferences (e.g. ManuResource 2019 and recently at the International Fertiliser Society Webinar) where it received great interest from stakeholders, in particular policy makers and producers of recycling-derived fertilisers. Read More

ReNu2Farm agronomic trial protocols for evaluation of recycling-derived fertilisers now online

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Within the ReNu2Farm project several project partners, have carried out trials to derive reliable information on agronomic value, nutriënt content and safety of recycling-derived fertilisers. Protocols taking into consideration the specific nature and properties have been developed for all trials. To facilitate future research and practical consulting of farmers on the fertilising value of these novel products, the ReNu2Farm consortium decided to publish all used protocols so that they can serve as a reference in the future. Read More

Farmers Attitudes to RDF Sources Discussed at the Civil Engineering Research in Ireland Conference (CERI2020)

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The Civil Engineering Research in Ireland Conference (CERI2020) was held virtually on 27th-28th August 2020. Although originally intended to be held in CIT, due to the Coronavirus restrictions it moved entirely on-line. This national conference focused on promoting civil engineering research and practices in Ireland. The conference was available to academics, researchers and professional practitioners with over 130 papers presented in total. Read More

A tool to optimize organic fertilisation

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One of the main objectives of the Interreg NWE ReNu2Farm project is to develop a circular economy of recycling-derived fertilisers (RDFs). This should be achieved in particular by increasing the efficiency of organic fertilisation and adapting it to each economic, agronomic and pedoclimatic situation. To this end, the French partner of the project, Arvalis Institut-du-Végétal, is currently working on perfecting one of its decision support tools: Fertiliser avec des produits organiques (translation in English: “Fertilize with organic products”). Read More

Success stories

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ReNu2Farm wants to increase both the use of recycling-derived fertilisers by the end-users, the farmers, as well as the production of recycling-derived fertilisers by producers. Communicating on success stories in practice will help to reach that goal. Read More

Interreg ReNu2Farm to be Represented at The Civil Engineering Research in Ireland (CERI2020) Conference.

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ReNu2Farm and CIT will be represented at CERI2020 in late August. Originally this conference was to be held in Cork Institute of Technology, however, due to the Coronavirus restrictions, it will now be hosted as a virtual conference. The conference abstract has been accepted by the conference organisers and will be supported by a peer-reviewed paper on the farmers’ survey. Read More

How to evaluate the agronomic value of a recycling-derived fertiliser?

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With the ReNu2Farm project we aim to increase the use of recycling-derived fertilisers such as composts, mineral concentrates, ashes and struvite. For farmers, the agronomic value of a fertiliser is crucial. Agronomic value comprises several aspects: nutrient value (How plant available are the nutrients contained in the novel fertilisers?), lime value as well as the organic matter value. Also, farmers need to be sure that the fertiliser product is safe and does not contain pollutants such as heavy metals or pathogens. Read More

Biodegradable pots made from cattle manure

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Livestock intensification and consequently, manure production and management in Northwest Europe has resulted in severe environmental impacts. To counter these impacts, development and optimisation of nutrient recovery technologies are on the rise. The production of biodegradable pots made from cattle manure is a technology that allows effective utilisation of animal manure in the cultivation of garden crops. This technology can help in curbing the existing use of plastic pots, paving way into a sustainable use of resources and waste management. Read More

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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