LIFE ALGAR-BBE - microALGae with ARomatic plants as Biostimulants with Biocide Effect

LIFE18 ENV/ES/000518

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Contact details:

Contact person: Maria Alvarez
Tel: 0034665063690
Email: malvarez@neoalgae.es

Project description:


Pesticide residues found in food are a widespread risk. 40% of food in the EU contains residues, and at least 75% of pesticides used each year are applied in agriculture. The highest amount of pesticide sold in the EU is in Spain - in 2016, 77 tonnes were sold, half of which were fungicides and almost 20% herbicides. Sampling conducted on food products have shown that Spain and Portugal were two of the countries with the highest maximum residue levels of pesticides, with more than 3% of samples exceeding the legal limit.

Pesticides should ideally be lethal only for pests, but they have harmful consequences for human health and the environment. According to the World Health Organization, pesticides are linked to diseases such as Parkinsons, asthma, depression/anxiety, cancer, and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder.

Pesticides easily contaminate air, ground and water, harming general soil biodiversity and nitrogen fixation, killing honeybees and other fauna. They can also make their way up the food chain and accumulate in other organisms.


The main objective of the project LIFE ALGAR-BBE is to mitigate the adverse effects of chemical pesticides which are used in tomato and corn crops on the environment and human health. It will prove the effectiveness of at least three biostimulant formulates from microalgal biomass, with biocide activity from aromatic plants extracts. This will allow pesticides (insecticides and fungicides) used on these crops to be replaced.

The formulates developed will be open to commercialisation in the EU at a later stage in the project, fulfilling current legislation (such as Regulation EU 528/2012) as well as future legislation (such as the proposal for the new regulation of fertilising products that will amend Regulations (EC) No 1069/2009 and (EC) No 1107/2009).

The project fits with EU environmental policy in relation to chemical products, in particular with regulation 1907/2006 (REACH) and directive 2009/128/CE. It will also match some objectives on EU action on the environment for 2020, and with the roadmap towards an efficient European use of resources.


Expected results:

  • at least three effective and secure formulates (microalgal biostimulants with bioactive action from aromatic plant extracts) for tomato and corn crops protection;
  • almost 6 000 litres of total formulates produced during project execution, allowing around 50 l/ha through five applications during each crop cycle;
  • over 8 000 ha of both industrial tomato crop and corn crop treated with the formulates;
  • 0.75 ha of both potato crop and pepper crop treated with the formulates;
  • pesticide residue-free crops amounting to about 740 tonnes of tomatoes, 90 tonnes of corn grain, 23 tonnes of potatoes, and 30 tonnes of peppers;
  • reduction of the pesticide content in the soil and in irrigation water by over 50%;
  • cut fertiliser units in crops by at least 25%;
  • cut energy consumption used to generate the formulates by almost 50%;
  • a report on algal bioactive extracts efficacy on tomato and corn crops under real use conditions covering pests and diseases;
  • CO2 capture amounting to almost 9 tonnes CO2/m3 from flue gas during the microalgae culture process during the project;
  • an assessment of the potential environmental and other aspects associated with the biostimulants throughout their life cycle; and
  • a business plan on achieving product sustainability.

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Environmental issues addressed:


Industry-Production - Agriculture - Forestry


fertiliser‚  environmental impact of agriculture‚  Agriculture‚  energy saving‚  agroindustry‚  irrigation‚  pest control

Target EU Legislation

  • Chemicals & Hazardous substances
  • Directive 2009/128/EC - A framework for Community action to achieve the sustainable use of pestic ...
  • "Regulation 1907/2006 - Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REA ...

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable





Project reference LIFE18 ENV/ES/000518
Duration 01-JUL-2019 to 30-JUN -2023
Total budget 1,276,642.00 €
EU contribution 700,671.00 €
Project location


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