Factors influencing the recovery of organic nitrogen from fresh human urine dosed with organic/inorganic acids and concentrated by evaporation in ambient conditions

Can we evaporate water from acidified fresh human urine to produce a solid fertiliser? Yes, we can! In our latest article in Science of the Total Environment (STOTEN), my colleagues (Anastasija VasiljevDyllon Randall and Bjorn Vinneras) and I show how human urine can be treated to produce fertilisers with nutrient content similar to that of blended synthetic/mineral fertilisers sold on the market. In fact, we can produce a fully #biobased #urine #fertiliser containing more than 20% nitrogen by dosing fresh urine with organic acids and dehydrating it in ambient conditions. So dig into our article if you’re as fascinated by #urinechemistry as we are, because we also attempt to understand the factors that affect the recovery of nitrogen-containing organic compounds in urine.

Producing fertilisers from urine-derived nutrients is highly relevant in today’s context, where globally the increase in fertiliser prices is affecting food production and causing more global hunger. On the other hand, segregating urine at source and safely #recycling it also one “beyond the business as usual” approach to achieving the sustainable development goal on water and sanitation #SDG6, a goal whose targets we are in serious risk of not meeting by 2030.

We therefore hope to transfer results from our paper to exciting projects such as P2GreeN and REWAISE EU project where urine recycling systems are being piloted in real-world settings!

Funding acknowledgement: Formas, a Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development and SLU – Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences‘s August T Larsson Guest Research program.

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