Nutrient recyclates for organic farming (nurec4org)

Examination of phosphorus-containing recyclates in terms of their acceptance and approval

The aim of organic farming is to minimise the consumption of finite resources and to concentrate on “Circular Economy”. Closing regional nutrient cycles is therefore one of the corner stones to ensure sustainable agriculture.

Nutrients recovered from bio-based materials and wastes offer the opportunity to promote the transformation towards sustainable agriculture and circular economy. So far, nutrient cycles are not sufficiently closed, be it in conventional or organic agriculture. This accounts in particular for the case of phosphorus. The only allowed mineral source to compensate phosphorus losses from organic farming systems is fossil based phosphate rock with its arguable fertilising efficiency and potential contamination with the toxic elements Cadmium and Uranium.

The project “nurec4org” (Nutrient recyclates for organic farming) examines to what extent phosphorus-containing products, which can be obtained through currently available recovery and recycling methods, will be acceptable and approved for organic farming. The aim is to introduce the scientific findings to the corresponding German and European approval bodies and to finally transfer them to the regulations for organic farming (EC/889/2008). Important stakeholders like farmers, trading companies and scientific institutions are involved in the investigations.


  1. Intensive and interactive stakeholder dialogue to define criteria for acceptance
  2. Assessment of the market potential P recyclates in organic farming
  3. Characterisation of quality of suitable recyclate
  4. Application of organic farming assessment methods adapted to specific organic farming requirements for both, products and processes (LCA, risk assessment)

Project Partners:
Bioland Beratung GmbH; Institute of Agricultural and Urban Ecological Projects affiliated to Berlin Humboldt University (IASP)


It is possible to recover fertilizers during wastewater and sewage sludge treatment. Amongst other things,  the production of clean, low-emission and plant available struvite is possible. For this nutrient recyclate, the use in organic farming is intended.
The video was supported by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) as part of the “nurec4org” project.

Project partners


Press and Media

More information

  • 47. Berliner Wasserwerkstatt: Der Weg ins Zeitalter des Phosphor-Recyclings

    26 March 2019 5:00pm7:00pm

    Berliner Wasserbetriebe, Neue Jüdenstraße 1, 10179 Berlin