Press Release

FENIX Project Holds its second General Assembly at CIRAD, Montpellier

Montpellier, France, November 29, 2023 — The FENIX Project, aimed at creating soil improvement products to enhance soil health, reached a significant milestone with its 2nd General Assembly hosted at CIRAD facilities in Montpellier, France. On November 29th, 2023, this pivotal gathering brought together project partners to assess the progress made since it’s kick-off six months ago and to strategize the upcoming challenges and opportunities. The event marked an essential moment for collaboration, exchange of insights, and setting the course for future work.

 

FENIX Project, funded by the European Union, is leading the way in environmental innovation within Europe by targeting the critical issue of bio-waste recycling. This ambitious initiative focuses on transforming bio-waste into biochar through pyrolysis techniques –by heating organic material in the absence of oxygen and integrate it with digestates, a by-product from anaerobic digestion, to create a uniquely effective soil enhancer. By optimizing the formulation of this mixture, the project promises to redefine agronomic practices across Europe, aiming to demonstrate significant benefits across various European soils, and to contribute to the EU’s goals of sustainable waste management, improved soil quality, and climate change mitigation.

On this occasion, the assembly provided a comprehensive review of the project’s multifaceted progress. Discussions commenced with a focus on biochar production, addressing critical aspects like the collection of woody mass, the techno-viability of biochar production, and the detailed characterization of biochar samples for soil quality enhancement. Complementing these topics were presentations on the role of biochar in increasing biogas production efficiency in anaerobic digestion processes. The session also spotlighted the real-world impacts of the project through field tests and experimental setups, showcasing the project’s commitment to rigorous scientific methods and innovative approaches in soil improvement. Particular attention was given to the initialization of the soil characterization that will be essential for conducting the field experiments across Spain, France and Greece. Furthermore, the assembly explored strategic considerations such as product categorization and market positioning within the EU, bringing to light the strategic aspects of the project, and emphasizing the importance of aligning with regulatory standards and market demands.

The assembly concluded with a detailed roundup of agreed actions and strategies for different ongoing and planned activities. This session outlined a clear roadmap for the project’s next phase, underscoring the project’s commitment to measurable outcomes and impactful results. Finally, the attendees had the opportunity to visit CIRAD facilities, where the first biochar samples are currently being produced and tested.

In conclusion, the Second General Assembly of the FENIX Project was vibrant showcase of unity and determination among all partners involved. The event reflected on the achievements and challenges faced and set a solid foundation for the project’s continued success. The FENIX Project continues to stride forwards towards its goal of improving soil health, with a renewed commitment and clear direction set forth by this assembly.

By: Lucia Salinas
Editorial: Miriam Romero
November 2023