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N-SEA. Biofertilizers from the sea to the future

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[N-SEA]Commercial_sheet_UPM_EN(Innovatech) PDF

Marine-derived biodegradable biopolymers used as plant fertilizer

This technology has been developed, as prototype laboratory for use of marine biodegradable biopolymers as vegetable fertilizers. Those biopolymers produce such an increase in the total nitrogen content within the plant up to 10 % and an increase up to 15 % in root growth compared to non treated plants. These biopolymers applied to farmland, could also contribute to the recovery of super-exploited agricultural soils favoring the maintenance of soil biodiversity.

Technology Solution

Marine biopolymers represent an alternative to usual inorganic nitrogen compound fertilizer, being biodegradable and not be released to water or the atmosphere being respectful of the natural environment.

Additionally are up to 10 % cheaper than the commonly used fertilizers. These biopolymers produced increased to 10 % of the total nitrogen content of the plant and an increase of plant root growth to 15 %. Also represent an potential additional source of C and N to the soil microflora and soil restoring tool.

N-SEA represents an alternative to commonly used inorganic fertilizers, non-polluting, inexpensive, high-performance, applicable to both agricultural and forest crops. N-SEA potentially contributes to the maintenance of biodiversity of soil microflora preventing degradation of agricultural land and contributing also to soil health restoration sustainably.

“Biofertilizers, biodegradable, cheap and environmentally friendly”

Market demands

  • Nearly 50 % of the investment necessary to cultivate agricultural land is intented for fertilization.
  • The current food industry demand vegetable fertilizer use that are effective and that are respectful of the environment, which does not produce polluting nitrogen waste water and atmosphere.
  • The products currently used in the industry are expensive and also cause undesirable effects on the ground and in the atmosphere by the accumulation of nitrogenous wastes. These effects contribute to agricultural soil degradation and global warming by releasing nitrogen compounds into the atmosphere, respectively.
  • Atmospheric nitrogen deposition leads to a 10 % loss of forest biodiversity in two thirds of the european área


Market potential

  • Global fertilizer demand is anticipated to reach 200 MT in 2019/20. In terms of nitrogen fertilizers, global ammonia capacity is projected to grow by 16 % compared with 2014 [IFA].
  • The global nitrogenous fertilizer market will be valued at $114 million by 2018. The demand for fertilizers is escalating worldwide while China, India and other developing nations around the world are stepping up their agricultural output and encouraging farmers to fertilize heavily to produce a higher yield [MarketsAndMarkets].
  • Marine biopolymers production market and derivatives (agricultural application, water purification component or bioplastics) has grown on average in recent years about 13 %, with annual output of 2,000 tons. USA and Japan are the largest producers and consumers. USA companies producing related products generate a market equivalent to 335 M$ per year, with an estimated global value higher than 1,000 M $.
Competitive advantages

  • Reduction in the cost of the product over existing products up to 10 %.
  • More efficient to produce an increase in both root growth and nitrogen content of the plant, essential for metabolic functions that allow plant development (under laboratory conditions).
  • Avoid waste production derived from inorganic nitrogen use.
  • Contribute to the improvement of soil microbiota favoring the maintenance of biodiversity and agricultural soil conservation.

  • Research team at UPM focused on plant biotechnology, genetic engineering and plant biochemistry, among other skills.
  • Research centres involved: CBGP (UPM-INIA) - Madrid and University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germnay.

  • Patentgranted in Spain ES2541080
  • Inernational patent application PCT/ES2016/070366
Development stage

  • Concept
  • R & D
  • Lab Prototype
  • Industrial Prototype
  • Production


Dr. Marta Berrocal-Lobo

e: m.berrocal@upm.es

Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics (CBGP-UPM)

w: http://www.cbgp.upm.es/en


UPM contact

Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship Area

Centre of Support for Technological Innovation – UPM

 e: innovacion.tecnologica@upm.es

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