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 artificial fertilisers, for which the EU is heavily dependent on imports. Moreover, the production of artificial 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 artificial 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
Cork Institute of Technology Niamh Power Ireland
ARVALIS Institut du végétal Alain BOUTHIER France
Soil Concept S.A. Marc Demoulling Luxembourg
Outotec GmbH & Co. KG Tanja Schaaf Germany
Nutriënten Management Instituut BV Imke Harms Netherlands
Universiteit Gent Ivona Sigurnjak Belgium
Inagro Inès Verleden Belgium
Institute of Technology Carlow Thomaé Kakouli-Duarte Ireland


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

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

How the Interreg project ReNu2Farm is supporting soil health and the circular economy

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This case study was originally published by the Microbiology Society under the following link: The Microbiology Society is undertaking a project entitled A Sustainable Future as part of our 75th Anniversary, which aims to highlight the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to our members and empower them to use their research to evidence and impact the goals. Earlier this year, we put a call out to our members to submit case studies in the following three areas: antimicrobial resistance, soil health and the circular economy. This case study is written by Dr Achim Schmalenberger, who is a Senior Lecturer and Course Director, and Lea Deinert who is a researcher at the University of Limerick, Ireland. They are both members of the Microbiology Society. It focuses on Soil Health; maintaining the health of our soils has gained increasing prominence in recent years. Soils are essential for the global food system and regulate water, carbon and nitrogen cycles but are put under pressure from population growth and climate change. Read More

Fertiliser Manual for farmers in preparation

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With the ReNu2Farm project we aim to make recycling-derived fertilisers and their use more known among farmers. This also implies developing pratical guidelines and recommendations for farmers on how to use these novel fertilisers. Therefore, a handbook of good fertilization practice with recycling-derived fertilisers (RDFs) is currently under development in collaboration of the project partners Arvalis (FR), Inagro (BE) and NMI (NL). 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

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