Sustainable techno-economic solutions for the agricultural value chain

01 June 2016 → 31 May 2019
European funding: framework programme
Research disciplines
  • Agricultural and food sciences
    • Sustainable agriculture
agricultural waste
Other information
Project description

Continuing population and consumption growth are driving global food demand, with agricultural activity increasing to keep pace. Europe has a major agricultural waste problem, generating some 700 million tonnes of waste annually. There is an urgent need and huge opportunity to address the efficient use of agricultural wastes, co-products and by-products (AWCB) towards delivering sustainable value chains in the farming and processing sectors. As such, AgroCycle will convert low value agricultural waste into highly valuable products, achieving a 10% increase in waste recycling and valorisation by 2020. This will be achieved by developing a detailed and holistic understanding of the waste streams and piloting a key number of waste utilisation/valorisation pathways.

Role of Ghent University
UGent is coordinator of WP3 of the project. The objective of this WP is to develop and evaluate the effectiveness and impact of existing and new biofertilisers from crop residues, livestock effluents and bioenergy effluents. In order to address this objective, this WP will quantify the fertilization potential of agricultural waste materials (straw, crop and animal residues, rice bran, etc) including new biofertilisers, and the impact on soil quality and soil organic carbon stocks; assess environmental impacts of agricultural waste materials including new biofertilisers, especially on water quality; formulate farming practices recommendations and guidelines concerning the use of new biofertilisers. UGent will particularly contribute i) in the characterization of the AWCB with respect to nutrient availability on short and medium term, in particular nitrogen availability; ii) in estimating the contribution of AWCB to carbon sequestration in soils and greenhouse gas budgets; iii) in modeling the risk of nutrient losses (nitrogen and phosphorus) to ground- and surface water upon application of AWCB.