Title: Unveiling the potential for an efficient use of nitrogen along the food supply and consumption chain
Authors: CORRADO SARAPATINHA CALDEIRA CARLACARMONA GARCIA GEMAKÖRNER INALEIP ADRIANSALA SERENELLA
Citation: GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY-AGRICULTURE POLICY ECONOMICS AND ENVIRONMENT vol. 25 p. 100368
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Publication Year: 2020
JRC N°: JRC116781
ISSN: 2211-9124 (online)
URI: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211912420300213?via%3Dihub
https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC116781
DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2020.100368
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Ensuring global food security is one of the challenges of our society. Nitrogen availability has is key for food production, while contributing to different environmental impacts. This paper aims firstly to assess nitrogen flows and highlight hotspots of inefficient use of nitrogen along the European food chain. Secondly, it aims to analyse the potential for reducing the identified inefficiencies. A baseline and two scenarios, reflecting waste targets reported in EU legislation and improvements in wastewater treatments are analysed. Results highlighted a potential to reduce reactive nitrogen emissions up to more than 40%. However, this would imply the conversion of reactive nitrogen in molecular nitrogen, which has to be converted other forms before re-entering in the food chain. Techniques to harvest reactive nitrogen directly for urine and wastewater are considered promising to increase nitrogen use efficiency along the food chain.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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