Optimising bio-based fertilisers in agriculture


Providing a knowledge basis for new policies

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 818309 (LEX4BIO). This output reflects only the author’s view and the European Union cannot be held responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

Optimising usage of bio-based fertilisers (BBFs)

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-used.

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 goal by collecting and processing regional nutrient stock, flow, surplus and deficiency data, and reviewing and assessing the required technological solutions. 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 LCA impact. 


Horizon 2020 (H2020)

TYPE OF action

Research & Innovation Action (RIA)


June 2019 – May 2023


21 partners in 14 European countries


CE-RUR-08-2018: Closing nutrient cycles

eu contribution

5 999 969 EUR

Lex4bio Overview 

Lex4bio goals in the EU agronomic context

Decrease European dependency on finite apatite-based phosphorus and energy-intensive mineral nitrogen  fertiliser

Our approach

A interdisciplinary and complementary approach, from BBBs identification to assessment, LCA and results’ diffusion 

Beyond Lex4bio

Ensure cross-cooperation & cross-dissemination with a network of EU major players, clusters & projects                         

Resulting in a new framework for BBFs acceptance

Provide  a policy framework for EU’s transition to BBFs, while minimising risks to the environment, ensuring food safety and supply, and protecting human health

Our Team

21 partners from 14 countries, covering Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Europe, securing evaluation of BBFs in all relevant climate conditions

News & Event

Learn about all the current and past activities of LEX4BIO, events, publications, National Dissemination Fora, and workshops

LEX4BIO partner Lars Jensen, UCPH invited by AGRI as expert speaker at European Parliament’s public hearing on fertilizers and circularity in agriculture

A recognized expert in soil fertility and organic waste recycling, and partner and work package leader in LEX4BIO and Nutri2Cycle EU H2020 projects, Lars Jensen, UCPH was invited by the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament to...


On November 16, Dr. Else K. Bünemann-König, Head of the Department of Soil Sciences at the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Switzerland and work package leader in LEX4BIO made a presentation at the Autumn Conference on Soil, Fertilizers and...

Cross-H2020-seminar LEX4BIO & FERTIMANURE 2022 « Bio-based fertilizers of the Future »

A second cross-seminar of H2020 projects LEX4BIO and FERTIMANURE will be held as parallel session during the 3rd International Conference “Strategies toward Green Deal Implementation: Water, Raw Materials and Energy” organized by the Mineral and Energy Economy...

LEX4BIO National Dissemination Forum in Denmark

Set-up of national dissemination forum (NDF) The 3rd LEX4BIO NDF in Denmark was set up and coordinated by the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) on July 7, 2022. The EIP concept of local Operational Groups (OG) is not adopted in Denmark due to a political decision at...

Position paper: Circular bioeconomy: tools for resilient primary production and security of supply with added value

The COVID-pandemic and the recent changes in the global geopolitics have drastically increased the importance of security of supply to ensure the functionality of our societies in Europe. Improving the security of supply, especially in terms of rawmaterials and...

Process factors affecting the contamination of struvite by selected antibiotics

LEX4BIO poster presentation at German Soil Science Society Annual Conference, Trier, 5 – 8 September Dr. Elke Bloem of the Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI), the German Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants attended the German Soil Science Society's Annual...

LEX4BIO National Dissemination Forum (NDF) in Finland

LEX4BIO National Dissemination Forum (NDF) in Finland   Place: Tietotalo, Jokioinen, Finland Time: 17th of August 2022   Dissemination of activities and results of LEX4BIO project to the relevant stakeholders at the national level are conducted through...

Plant nutrient and harmful heavy metal concentrations in agricultural soils of EU27 and UK

The "Plant nutrient and harmful heavy metal concentrations in agricultural soils of EU27 and UK" poster presented first important results of LEX4BIO project at the 22nd World Congress of Soil Science in Glasgow, 2022. The event is an important forum gathering experts...

National Dissemination Forum in Austria, June 22

The Austrian NDF took place on the 23rd of June this year at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), bringing 17 participants together in a hybrid in-presence – online meeting from research organisations, agriculture chambers, fertilizer...

LEX4BIO presented at Biorefine Conference in Ghent, Belgium

We are pleased to share that our Coordinator presented #LEX4BIO at the first edition of 'The role of biorefineries in European agriculture' Conference organized by Biorefine Cluster Europe on 30 and 31 May in Ghent, Belgium. The event aims to highlight the current...

Lex4bio in practice

The optimisation of BBFs’ efficiency and safety, legislation, trust building and widespread implementation of their usage resulting from LEX4BIO are expected to positively impact on the environment and economy by reducing dependence upon mineral/fossil fertilisers.

Download our results and outcomes

Public outcomes and results provided by the LEX4BIO partners through the project implementation

Media corner

Communication kit, Leaflet and brochure,  Newsletter,  Webinars and workshop documentation, Scientific publications & Press release

“LEX4BIO supports the transition towards a circular economy by enhancing the use of nutrient-rich side-streams as BBFs. By optimising the use of fertilisers according to crop requirement, environmental impacts can be minimised and agriculture profitability improved”

— Kari Ylivainio, senior scientist from Luke & Project Coordinator

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