A French-based start-up company intends to convert urine into a cheaper and effective fertiliser for agricultural purposes.
Having raised €1 million, TOOPI Organics will open its first production unit, capable of recycling 750,000 litres of urine annually, near Bordeaux by the end of this year.
“With this funding, TOOPI Organics also intends to structure its collection network, secure the marketing of its urine-based bio-stimulants, and accelerate its national and European development.” the company said in a statement.
“Founded in February 2019 with the support of the BPI and the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, Toopi Organics has patented a microbiological process to enrich human urine with microorganisms of agronomic interest.”
30-110% more effective than traditional mineral fertilisers
“The urine, which already contains the NPK fertilizing elements (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium), is decontaminated and converted into bio-stimulants at a lower cost.”
The potential of using urine has been explored by scientists in recent years, given its high levels of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, the main components found in artificial fertilisers.
Studies by Bordeaux Sciences Agro and the Gironde Chamber of Agriculture have shown that TOOPI products are 30 to 110% more effective than traditional mineral fertilisers, and can reduce the water requirement of plants.
“Our ecological objective is twofold. In France, we contaminate over 200 billion litres of drinking water every year with our urine.” Michael Roes, CEO, co-founder, TOOPI Organics said.
“Our first objective is to preserve the water resource, by collecting 1 to 5% of the total volume of urine produced every year.”
“Our second objective is to free farmers from their dependence on mineral fertilisers, by offering them a true ecological alternative, with a range of biofertilizers that are more effective and cheaper than chemical products.”
‘A real system change is looming’
Dr Pierre Huguier, Scientific Director and co-founder, TOOPI Organics, added: “Our efforts will focus in the coming months on strengthening our patent portfolio, obtaining approval to launch our products on the market, and setting up urine collection and processing units, first in France, then in the Benelux, where partners are waiting for us.”
Léa Zaslavsky, Co-founder of makesenseTOOPI added. “We were immediately seduced by the impact potential of TOOPI, a low-tech and innovative solution that reuses waste for the benefit of sustainable agriculture.”
“With its committed, ambitious and well-supported team, a real system change is looming.”
Reduce carbon footprint of ag sector
Thomas Delasnerie, purchasing and Sales Scheduling Manager at Qualifert, a subsidiary of the AllSun Group added:
“TOOPI will reduce the carbon footprint of the agricultural sector and improve the management of drinking water resources.”
“The AllSun group is enthusiastically associated with this circular economy approach, and will actively participate in the marketing of TOOPI products in France,” Delasnerie added.