Flavio Silva
Luis Tarelho, Marija Prodana
SAYFERT - Safety and effectiveness of Estarreja-based fertilisers under circular economy principles
Circular economy has emerged for sustainable management of natural resources aligned with good industrial practices. New-generation fertilisers are an example of industrial synergies and environmental compatibility. The recently revised EU Fertilisers Regulation creates room for development of waste-based fertilisers, as long as their agronomic value and environmental safety are proven. In this sense, there are still on-going discussions at the stakeholders/regulators’ level in order to systematically assess the effectiveness and environmental safety of new waste-based fertilisers. Such discussions are an excellent opportunity for the OHM-E to provide scientific insights on the safe and effective application of local-based fertilisers and turn Estarreja into an example of good agronomic practices aligned with industrial synergies and environmental protection.
Biochar is a potential candidate for EU fertilisers. It has raised great interest as a way of managing organic residues through pyrolysis, as well as recycling of carbon and nutrients, thus improving soil quality/productivity. Former (DRuMBEAT) and on-going (MOSAIC) research has proven the merit of biochar in improving Estarreja soil quality. MOSAIC project is currently assessing the cost-effectiveness of biochar production from Estarreja-based byproducts. Coupling of agronomic value with environmental safety of recycling biochar to soils is still lacking in the equation, especially regarding the impact on non-target soil and aquatic organisms as consequence of leaching of potentially toxic compounds. By taking advantage of on-going research and inter-disciplinary networking, SAYFERT research relies in two fundamental axes – pyrolysis and ecotoxicology – for pursuing biochar application rate thresholds that yields trade-offs between agronomic productivity and environmental safety.
Projet OHMs
OHM(s) concerné(s)
  • OHM Estarreja
Biologie, Chimie, Écologie


Flávio Silva, FS (http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7025-0601) got his PhD in Environmental Sciences and Engineering in 2013 at the University of Aveiro. He is an environmental scientist and engineer with seven years of research in bioprocess technology and biorefinery concepts (energetic and material valorisation of waste streams). After PhD, he broadened his research into further environmental subjects to develop skills under a wider vision of ecosystem interactions, including earth surface processes, carbon and nutrient dynamics, integrated ecosystem services and soil remediation. Currently FS is a researcher at CESAM – Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies at the University of Aveiro, working on carbon/nutrient dynamics, soil biotechnology and resource recycling at both scientific and industrial interface levels. He worked as executive manager and field team coordinator in 1 national project and 2 European projects. He has co-supervised 17 MSc students and participated as jury examiner of 7 MSc theses. He is/was team member of 7 research projects (either European or national) and collaborator of 13 research projects (either European or national). He owns a granted patent, has authored 19 peer-reviewed papers (h-index 12, SCOPUS) and more than 30 oral or panel presentations in conferences. FS career has not been only focused on fundamental science but he also has advanced skills on R&D projects management, students mentoring, design of funding applications, as well as a strong expertise in collaboration between scientists and stakeholders, notably aiming at technology transfer.


Marija Prodana, MP (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7747-4699) holds a Degree in Biology (2008) by Univ. Novi Sad (Serbia), MSc in Environmental Studies (2011) by Aalborg Univ. Denmark, Hamburg Univ. Technology Germany, Aveiro Univ. Portugal; fellowship by EU Commission), and PhD in Biology (2018) by Univ. Aveiro –UA (fellowship by Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology - FCT). During 2008/2009 she worked in a laboratory for food safety (Ekolab d.o.o. Novi Sad, Serbia). MP is currently an assistant researcher at the Dept. Biology & CESAM (UA) within the FCT ECOCENE project evaluating toxicity, bioaccumulation, and trophic transfer of nano-pesticides in soil biota. Her research interests are focused on terrestrial ecotoxicology, soil-biota interactions in biochar and compost-amended soils, contaminant and nutrient leaching, aquatic ecotoxicology, fate and behavior of nano-materials in soils. Ongoing activities involve the studies of interactions of plants, invertebrates, and...