FER-PLAY creates a new alternative fertilisers database

There are numerous alternative fertilisers available in the market or under research at the European Union (EU) level. However, most of these and their properties are not yet widely known, and this knowledge gap is hindering a wide market uptake. 

FER-PLAY created a database that gathers the scattered knowledge on alternative fertilisers from seven different secondary raw materials (urban wastewater, industrial wastewater, sewage sludge, bio-waste, biological by-products, digestate, treated manure). Harmonised in a clear and comprehensive overview, it provides data and figures on 60 value chains and end products. The information considers the whole life cycle, from production to use and will be regularly updated throughout the project time with any additional information becoming available. 

To facilitate user navigation, information can be filtered on the homepage through several categories: production data, distribution and trade, storage and application, product content, cost and legislation.  

The information included in the database was the starting point for rating all 60 identified value chains in terms of data availability, nutrient content, soil improvement capacity, toxicity, technical viability, versatility and industrialisation potential. Only those seven value chains that are well-characterised and that represent the variability of agricultural applications and practices are under environmental, social, regulatory, and economic assessment. Beyond being a pillar of the FER-PLAY approach, the project open-access database will contribute to raise awareness about the benefits and viability of the production and use of alternative fertilisers, and consequently help to increase sustainability and circularity of the EU food system. 

Stay tuned, the assessment of the most promising value chains is ongoing, and results will be available in the upcoming months. Moreover, co-creation activities and policy workshops are being organised, want to have your say? Follow us on social media to keep up with our events and participate in our surveys

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