Scientists have found a way to use urine as fertilizer; Farmers can take advantage

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The nitrogen and phosphate content of urea promotes soil fertility. By adjusting the nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio, the fertilizer can be made into pellets. Biochar, for example, adds carbon to fertilizer, while recycling struvite provides phosphates.








Testing the benefits of urine in the lab





Human urine is an important source of nutrients for plants, but digesting it with current sanitation methods can be difficult. Drying diverted urine can be a game-changer in terms of maximizing its benefits. Prithvi Simha, postdoctoral researcher in environmental engineering at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, explained how pee can be separated, collected and processed to create fertilizer pellets. In February 2022, Simha published a report on the subject in Source magazine.












Benefits of dry urine:

Prithvi Simha says, “Potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus are abundant in urine. When we flush the pee travels through sewer lines to treatment plants, where it is diluted by the flush water. This makes the process of removing nitrogen from the urine more difficult, which can be used to boost soil fertility. Urine can be treated at source by collecting and drying it separately.

“We have been making dried foods and other materials for a long time, so the drying technique is not new. We already have the materials needed to build a urine-drying toilet. High-end ceramic urine-diverting toilets may be out of reach for the average family. To make urine collection more cost effective, a simple cartridge or drum can be placed. »

Stabilization is done to balance the pH of urine by adding lime and making it more alkaline. The nutrients are then air blown at a specific temperature and humidity level to remove water and maintain them in a non-volatile state. A concealed trap – an “S” trap or a “C” trap can be placed to prevent odor or urine from returning to the toilet bowl.












“It has the potential to be a solution for rural India. Multiple urine processing chambers can be avoided in rural India, and an economical scale semi-centralized system can be erected, linking multiple urinals/toilets together, to make the urine drying system affordable and user-friendly .

“To process and dry urine, many urinals or urine diversion chambers can be connected to a single container/chamber with a dryer. Proceeds from the sale of the finished product (fertilizer) can be put to good use in the operation and maintenance of the system, said Prithvi Simha.

Improves soil fertility

The nitrogen and phosphate content of urea promotes soil fertility. By adjusting the nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio, the fertilizer can be made into pellets. Biochar, for example, adds carbon to fertilizer, while recycling struvite provides phosphates.












The fertilizer has been tested in the laboratory and in the field in three countries. It thrives in paddy crops such as barley, wheat, maize and sugarcane. Foods or liquids produced by fertilizers are sent back to markets, sold and consumed by households. This contributes to the development of an urban-rural link because the more people who urinate, the less we pollute the environment and the treatment plants, and the less we depend on fresh water.

(Source: down to earth)







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