Lab & Consulting Services

RUSTICA

RUSTICA– Demonstration of circular biofertilisers and implementation of optimized fertiliser strategies and value chains in rural communities

Term

January 1st, 2021 – December 31th, 2024

Project

The RUSTICA projects wants to provide a technical solution to convert organic residues from the fruit and vegetable sector into novel bio-based fertiliser products of high quality that are able to address the needs of modern (organic) agriculture. The project’s ambition goes beyond the simple recovery of nutrients, but to provide economically viable and environmentally sustainable alternatives to mineral fertilisers with the same or improved agronomic value. The technical solution consists of 5 conversion processes (carboxylic acid platform, microbial biomass production, electrodialysis, insect breeding and biochar production) which can be combined at will depending on the available waste streams and integrated with SotA technologies such as composting. Synergies between the individual conversion processes will be sought and optimized to maximize economic and environmental benefits, and the processes will be demonstrated at TRL7. The resulting ingredients (microbial biomass, mineral nutrient concentrates, insect  biomass, insect frass, insect chitin, biochar) will be combined to obtain tailor made fertiliser products adapted to specific crop needs.

Parallel with this technological innovation and integration, a multi-actor approach will guarantee the implementation potential of the technologies in the farming community, and will lead to sound business models. Several non-technical aspects (environmental and social LCA, legal framework, expected market developments…) will be evaluated in 4 European regions and 1 region in Colombia. Stakeholder involvement at each step will guarantee the development of marketable end-products supported by the farming community with a high replication potential to other agricultural sectors. Cooperation with other EU-funded projects working on nutrient recovery from other waste products will stimulate a joint solution to evolve towards a sustainable and circular fertiliser management to close nutrient cycles within and between regions.

Coordinator

KU Leuven (Belgium)

Partners

ILVO (Belgium), CROPEYE (The Netherlands), TECNOVA (Spain), BIOSABOR SAT (Spain), CONSIGLIO PER LA RICERCA IN AGRICOLTURA E L’ANALISI DELL’ECONOMIA AGRARIA (Italy), TNO (The Netherlands), CENTRO INTERNACIONAL DE AGRICULTURA TROPICAL (CIAT; Colombia), AVECOM (Belgium), UGent PaInT research group (Belgium), ENTOMO CONSULTING SL (Spain), OWS (Belgium), PARTICULA GROUP (Croatia), CHAMBRE REGIONALE D’AGRICULTURE DES PAYS DE LA LOIRE (France), ID CONSORTIUM SL (Spain), KU LEUVEN (Belgium), WIEDEMANN GMBH (Germany)

OWS’s tasks

  • Project technical manager
  • Development and optimization of the carboxylic acid platform for the different feedstocks of the 5 RUSTICA regions
  • Combining optimal multi-valorization chains by integration of the emerging technologies, specific for each test region
  • Design and operation of a pilot plant at Pays de la Loire

Links

Contact

Mrs. Inge De Bo

Inge.De.Bo@ows.be