LEX4BIO Optimizing Bio-based Fertilisers in Agriculture – Knowledgebase for New Policies

Imported mineral phosphate and fossil energy-intensive nitrogen fertilisers cause major detrimental impacts on the environment, whilst nutrient-rich side-streams/organic waste remain under-utilised. By optimising usage of bio-based fertilisers (BBF) from side-streams, ensuring their safety, building evidence-based trust in their usage and developing legislative framework for their use, it will be possible to reduce dependence upon mineral/fossil fertilisers, benefiting the environment and the EU’s economy.

LEX4BIO aims to achieve this by collecting and processing regional nutrient stock, flow, surplus and deficiency data, and reviewing and assessing the required technological solutions. Furthermore, socioeconomic benefits and limitations to increase substitution of mineral fertiliser for BBFs will be analysed. A key result of LEX4BIO will be a universal, science-based toolkit for optimising the use of BBFs in agriculture and to assess their environmental impact in terms of non-renewable energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and other LCA impact categories. LEX4BIO provides for the first time connection between production technologies of BBFs and regional requirements for the safe use of BBFs.

The large variation between EU regions in nutrient flows and regional requirements for fertilisers will be estimated by harmonised methods to produce the knowledge basis needed to set up feasible ways to redirect the nutrient flows where needed. This will be followed by classifying the best available technologies for producing regionally tailored BBFs to secure high agricultural productivity, as well as environmental protection, food safety and human health.

In LEX4BIO, the knowledge basis and recommendations will be gathered and processed together with stakeholders across Europe, providing best solutions for decreasing the dependency on imported fertilisers, closing the nutrient cycles and improving sustainability of European farming systems.

This project will be carried out in collaboration with the 21 partnering organisations. The Risk Assessment Unit of Finnish Food Authority will participate in task five of the project, which addresses safe ways of using BBFs, ensuring low plant uptake of heavy metals and low health risk. The work at the Risk Assessment Unit will concentrate on heavy metal risk assessment after using BBFs.


2019 - 2023


European Commission Research Executive Agency, Sustainable Resources for Food Security and Growth. H2020-RUR-2018-2

Project partners

Luonnonvarakeskus Luke, Finland (project leader)
Risk Assessment Unit, Finnish Food Authority
Proman Management GMBH PM, Austria
Julius Kuhn-Institut Bundesforschungsinstitut für Kulturpflanzen JKI, Germany
Kobenhavns Universitet UCPH, Denmark
Universität für Bodenkultur WIEN BOKU, Austria
Universiteit van Amsterdam UvA, Netherlands
Universität Hohenheim UHOH, Germany
Forschungsinstitut für Biologischen Landbau Stiftung FiBL, Switzerland
Universidad de Sevilla US, Spain
Pannon Egyetem UP, Hungary
Universiteit Gent UG, Belgium
Stiftelsen Norges Geoteknisk Institut NGI, Norway
Helsingin yliopisto UH, Finland
Agro Innovation International AII-RG, France
Litorij UAB ECP, Lithuania
Soil Cares Research BV SC, Netherlands
Evroproject OOD EP, Bulgaria
Fieldsense A/S FS, Denmark
Instytuit Gospodarki Surowcami Mineralnymi i Enegia PAN PAS, Poland
Agrana Research & Innovation CENTER GMBH AG, Austria

More information

Johanna Suomi, Risk Assessment Unit


Page last updated 1/8/2020