European centre of excellence
for sustainable water technology


Soil is as essential to human well-being as air and water. It is a key component of many ecological processes and assures the provisioning of ecosystem services such as food production, water depuration, carbon storage, crop resistance to pests and diseases. Soil organic matter/humus aff ects the biological, chemical and physical properties of the soil and therefore, plays a central role in maintain soil functionality and productivity. Especially, organic matter, contributes to prevent soil erosion and land flooding and can play a role in climate mitigation. Therefore, the steady decline of organic matter in many European soils is one of the biggest environmental threats.
The use of organic residues from different sources as soil amendment represent an opportunity to increase organic matter in the soil and strength re-use of resources. Treatment of organic residues (e.g. composting, anaerobic digestion and fermentation) prior to land application is widely used to improve soil fertility. However, a complete understanding of the short and long term eff ects of these treatments on soil organic matter is still lacking.
The soil theme investigates the effect of organic residues on soil organic matter with the aim to promote the reuse of organic residues, strengthening circular economy and increase soil fertility. Relying on the gained insight, the Soil Theme will investigate how to integrate knowledge and expertise of Wetsus on water treatment technology to find most suitable form of organic matter addition for agricultural application.

Jan Feersma
Valentina Sechi

Theme manager
Jan Feersma-Hoekstra

Theme coordinator
Valentina Sechi

Industrial partners

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Kon. OH logo groen-oranje
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Academic partners

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Wageningen University 2016

Research projects

• Yujia Luo, Wageningen University
   Improving agricultural soils by organic residues
• Chris Schott, Wageningen University
   Recovery of phosphorous from animal manure
Vania Chavez Rico, Wageningen University
   Organic residues engineering to increase organic matter in agricultural soils

combining scientific excellence with commercial relevance