Sustainable food security - FERTIMANURE



FERTIMANURE project, Innovative nutrient recovery from secondary sources – Production of high-added value FERTIlisers from animal MANURE, is a 4-year collaborative Innovation Action (IA) funded with 7.78 million € by the EU in the framework of the Horizon 2020 call H2020-RUR-2019-1. It started in January 2020 and is coordinated by the Technological Centre for Biodiversity, Ecology and Environmental Technology (BETA Tech Centre) at the University of Vic – Central University of Catalonia (UVIC-UCC). The FERTIMANURE project brings together 20 partners from 7 EU countries and Argentina - including universities, research centres, cluster organisations, public bodies, SMEs and NGOs – aims to achieve a zero-waste manure management approach and obtain reliable and safe fertilisers able to compete in the European fertiliser market.

Project description

The EU livestock sector is the largest in the world, and manure by far the largest nutrient-rich residual biomass flow generated by this sector. This important biomass stream needs to be upgraded into tailor-made fertilisers that comply with the requirements of different crops to minimise losses to the environment. While the production of mineral fertilisers from non-renewable mined rock deposits (P) and those based on fossil energy (N) have contributed to food security for the world’s growing population, the current dependency of EU agriculture on scarce resources like natural gas and rock phosphate must be regarded as a very serious threat and challenge to future food security.

FERTIMANURE will develop innovative solutions, including technology, end-products, and business models, to help reconnect nutrient flows between crop production and the rearing of livestock, solve real issues such as manure management, and assist farmers with the challenges that they are facing today. Five pilot plants will be set up in Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Germany within the framework of the project which has an overall budget of €8.42 million, including partner contributions.


These are the objectives of FERTIMANURE:

  • development of new technological approaches for a new generation of commercial, sustainable and safe fertilisers from livestock waste.
  • replacement of conventional, non-renewable mineral fertilisers, reducing the high dependence that the EU currently has on external sources for the supply of key fertilisers used in agriculture, including natural gas and rock phosphate.
  • reduction in the environmental impacts linked to the emissions and dispersion of nutrients present in waste flows, and/or to the production of fossil-based fertilisers.
  • replication of the 5 experimental pilots in different contexts at the EU level, but also internationally, with the consequent expectation of encouraging new policies and initiatives in nutrient recycling and manure management.

Role of Ghent University

UGent is the leader of WP4 that deals with Demonstration of end-product performance: incubation, pot test and field trials, and manages a field site for this WP. UGent is also responsible for the on-farm pilot in Belgium (WP2). In WP3 UGent leads the Task 3.5 related to transport models and logistics of fertilizers.




Prof. Erik Meers
Department of Green Chemistry and Technology
Phone number: +32 9 264 93 96