Carboxilic Acid Platform (CAP) as starting point for a bio-based fertilizer

Contact: Belén Benito García

The current fertilizers are made using exhaustible resources, which have a negative impact on our climate. For example, phosphor and nitrogen are extracted from fossil raw materials or by using a big amount of energy derived from fossil fuels. These raw materials are becoming more and more scarce, highlighting the need for new, renewable resources.

The Carboxylic Acid Platform (CAP) is a green, biological technology which allows the production of a complex solution. Multiple natural bacteria, found on the agricultural waste, break down the organic matter into nutrients and short carbon chains. Second, these short carbon chains are elongated to longer, more energy rich molecules. To sum up: the CAP recycles organic, agricultural waste into a nutrient and energy rich solution.


The CAP solution can be used by Avecom as feed source to produce microbial proteins. These microbial proteins are a very nutritious bioavailable nitrogen source for the agricultural crops. They are easily taken up and stimulate growth and increase yield. CAP solution is also rich in micronutrients such as magnesium, calcium, etc. The Paint group from the Ghent University can separate these micronutrients using a specialized membrane technology called electrodialysis. These nutrients can be added to the bio-based fertilizer to support the growth of the crops and make nutrient-rich soils.

After harvesting, the newly produced agricultural waste can again be converted into a CAP solution, which in turn is again converted into a bio-based fertilizer available for the next harvest.


This article has been written by Nathan Deman, DRANCO.


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The RUSTICA project aims to foster the technical validation, demonstration and implementation of bio-based fertiliser and soil improvement production techniques focusing on waste from the fruit and vegetable agro-food system to close nutrient cycles on a regional level. An estimated 70 million tonnes of dry matter of field crop residues could be sustainably harvested for valorization. However, 1.5 million tonnes is lost. The project wants to bridge this gap between the nutrient losses in the form of agricultural residues and the nutrient imports in Europe by integrating and demonstrating 6 complementary technologies with high nutrient recovery potential to treat residues from the fruit and vegetable sector. For future information, please visit https://rusticaproject.eu/ very soon.

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IDConsortium is a consultancy firm founded in Seville, Spain, in 2009 with the aim of helping researchers and businesses to internationalise and showcase their R&D by joining international consortiums to pursue different lines of research, development, and innovation. The firm is an offshoot of IDAction S.L., a company with a wide range of experience in managing R&D, innovation, and investment projects. We help promote clusters and sectorial organizations reach their potential at a national and international level. With our experience and involvement in various international innovation projects, we provide strategic advice in the following areas: Industrial Biotechnology, Advanced production systems in Agriculture, Livestock and Aquaculture based on Industry 4.0., and Innovative systems while promoting an active, healthy, and sustainable aging. Visit www.idconsortium.es/ for more information.