SynFeSol : collaboration with a Breton SME in agro-ecology

SynFeSo : collaboration with a Breton SME to improve soil fertility using an agro-ecological approach

Project funded by the Brittany region under a call for projects Technology transfer «Health and biotechnology»

Mathieu Pédrot (Géosciences Rennes, in collaboration with ECOBIO) obtained funding from the Brittany region under a call for projects Technology transfer « Health and biotechnology » to structure a collaboration with a Breton SME in the agro-supply sector. The project entitled Synfesol focuses on the study of the fate in soil (and potential synergies) of an iron-based colloidal phase. The economic development of this project is clearly displayed: the project ultimately aims to develop an ecoproduct for improving soil fertility.

Presentation of the project

The project is to test the value of adding a colloidal phase in a soil with a view to improving plant growth and soil chemical properties (cation-exchange capacity, nutrient concentration). The colloidal phase consists of an inorganic phase based on iron and free from synthetic organic product. Its agronomic properties of interest are based in part on (1) the bioavailability of the constituent ions of the product and (2) the potential synergies between the product and the soil components (formation of organo-mineral complexes in soils strong capacity to neutralize soil acidity, increased cation exchange capacity and microbial activity). The mechanisms of action of the product could contribute both to a significant reduction of the impacts of modern agriculture on the environment while improving soil fertility (decrease in the use of synthetic organic products, decrease in losses from nutrient leaching, etc.).

The project is being carried out in partnership with the company TMCE (Technique Minérale Culture et Elevage) located in the Parc d'activités de Gogal (in Saint-Gonnery in Morbihan). Its activity is concerned with the production and direct sale to farmers of mineral fertilisers and innovative mineral foods as part of an agro-ecology which is intended to be thrifty in agricutural inputs. TMCE was created in 1993 to promote an innovative technical concept based on the action of minerals and trace elements on the balance of life and microbial diversity of soils, plants and livestock.The aim is to enable optimum quantitative and qualitative production by reducing dependence on plant protection products in cultures and on pharmaceuticals in animal husbandry.

For its part, the OSUR team involved in this project consists of biogeochemists, chemists and biologists from ECOBIO and Geosciences Rennes laboratories. The competences of the research team assembled relate to the determination and understanding of the interactions between the colloidal compartment and trace elements in surface environments, and the role of this compartment on the chemical properties of soils and on the biological response of micro-organisms and plants. This approach paves the way for applications in agrochemistry and phytoremediation.

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