Green nitrogen transition: The potential of legumes in control environment agriculture (GreeNTrans)

The GreeNTrans project aims to transition synthetic nitrogen fertilizers production to short-chain, reduced greenhouse gas, and circular economy-based technology using the potential of legume plants for biologically fixed nitrogen (BFN).

Such a goal will be achieved by adapting plants of the legume family to grow in hydroponic systems and through modelling and experimentation to determine the most suitable conditions for achieving maximum BFN in controlled environment agriculture.

The project is provided following the Green Transition aims. 

Its targets are to investigate:

  1. the most effective concentration of rhizobia, the parameters of the hydroponic solution (pH, EC, temperature), and the hydroponic system itself (deep float, Ebb, NFT) aiming to find the most efficient way to elicit the most considerable amount of BFN;
  2. the influence of allelopathic substances will be studied to increase the reusability of the hydroponic solution, as well as leguminous plants will be incorporated to grow together with leafy vegetables to replace synthetic nitrogen;
  3. the quality, productivity, and nitrogen cycle of leafy vegetables will be evaluated, growing them after replacing synthetic nitrogen with BFNin hydroponics and the substrate;
  4. the effects that gave the most reliable result will be assessed and applied in practice on other plants, and a methodology will be created to obtain the highest yield with BFN.

Novel approaches proposed by the project will provide a better understanding of the nitrogen cycle in plants, and the estimation of BFNin plants and hydroponic solutions will help to determine the optimal requirements for growing plants and contribute to safer food to ensure higher product quality, consistent yields for farmers, and safer food for consumers. 

The consortium of the project consists of three leading scientific and research institutions in the fields of agriculture in their countries: Lithuanian Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry (LAMMC, Lithuania), University of Helsinki (UH, Finland), IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL, Sweden).

The project is organized into 5 work packages, closely related and interacting with each other to cover the full spectrum of activities and to use the advantages of collaboration. The knowledge gained during the project will be presented to stakeholders in the workshops, at scientific conferences, in the scientific and popular press, on the project webpage, and social networks.