Second General Assembly of the Horizon Europe project EcoNutri

IGZ acts as leader for the work package “Environmental impacts, life cycle analysis & socio-economic aspects”

1. Dezember 2023
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The EcoNutri partners took advantage of the 2nd General Assembly in Turin for an intensive scientific exchange on initial project results. Photo: I. Thomatou/CETRI
The EcoNutri partners took advantage of the 2nd General Assembly in Turin for an intensive scientific exchange on initial project results. Photo: I. Thomatou/CETRI

From 22.11. to 24.11.2023 the 2nd General assembly of the Horizon Europe project “Eco-Nutri” took place in Turin, Italy. “EcoNutri” aims at the optimization and validation of commercial-level nutrient management technologies that minimize or even eliminate nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. To this end, 24 European partners and six Chinese institutions collaborate in the ambitious Horizon Europe Innovation Action project.

One of the work packages, "Environmental impacts, life cycle analysis & socioeconomic aspects" is led by IGZ acting Head of HORTSYS-Programme Area and Leader of the research group “Controlled Environment Horticultural Systems”, Dr. Oliver Körner. Co-Leader of the work package is Balint Balázs (ESSRG). At IGZ, Körner is supported by controlled environment agriculture/energy engineer Dr. Tundra Ramírez Jiménez. Körner and Ramírez presented nutrient mass balance modeling results and coordinated work meetings during the event.

The main task of IGZ is to develop mass balances and mechanistic models for predicting the behavior of nutrient loss reduction under different scenarios of four different technical innovations within the agricultural sector. Furthermore, IGZ collaborates with the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece (AUA) and the Environmental Social Science Research Group, Hungary (ESSRG), to conduct life cycle and socioeconomic assessments. These innovations are:

  • Technologies for nutrient recovery from organic waste by Italian partners Università degli Studi di Torino (UNITO) and the biogas plant Wipptal BiWi
  • Real-time sensing with ion selective electrodes (ISEs) to maximize nutrient recycling in soilless cropping by the two Greek partner institutions the Agricultural University of Athens (AUA) and Nutrisense, developer of the decision support system software
  • Cascade hydroponics, a crop soilless-cultivation system for drainage re-use, by the University of Thessaly (UTH)
  • Innovative treatment of bacteria strains with organic matter degradation properties, for better composting and phosphorus, iron, and other nutrients recovery, by Universidade de Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD) in Portugal and Instytut ogrodnictwa - Panstwowy Instytut Badawczy (InHort) in Poland.

In the course of the project, which is funded for three and a half years, the selected EcoNutri innovations will be assessed in terms of:

  • Reduction of nutrient loss from manure and plant residues
  • Reduction of water pollution caused by nitrate and phosphorus leaching and run-off from cultivated soil nutrient loss  
  • Improvement of nutrient use efficiency in soilless systems
  • Reduction of greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions from organic biomass during storage, composting, and land application
  • Environment performance
  • Consumer readiness to accept innovative agricultural production

More Information
EcoNutri project website: https://econutri-project.eu/
Work Package IGZ: https://econutri-project.eu/leibniz-institute-for-vegetable-and-ornamental-crops-igz-e-v/