Can we recycle human urine to close the nutrient cycle?

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  • Tore
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  • worked in sanitation for most of my life. taught plumbing. have plumbing and builders license, certified inspector in all facets of construction, PhD in public administration & have taught construction management in university, traveled numerous countries, Interest UDDT and sanitation & clean water
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Re: Can we recycle human urine to close the nutrient cycle?

Urine is sterile or almost sterile and can be quickly used for fertilizer.  It has all the macro-nutrients that the plants need,  The fecal matter needs time and elevated temperatures to destroy bacteria, viruses, and helminthes.
Sanitation & water consultant in developing countries
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  • Marine Chief Engineer by profession (1971- present) and at present Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, Chennai, India. Also proficient in giving Environmental solutions , Designation- Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Head- Environment, The Vigyan Vijay Foundation, NGO, New Delhi, INDIA , Consultant located at present at Chennai, India
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Re: Can we recycle human urine to close the nutrient cycle?

Dear Researcher 
Urine is very commonly used
Fecal Sludge composted is used also
Both these have their own weak points, culturally Etc
But once this bar is crossed,  Communities  apply due safeguard and use the resources for good for local agriculture 
Best wishes 

Prof Ajit Seshadri 
Vels University
Chennai India 
Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, and
Head-Environment , VigyanVijay Foundation, Consultant (Water shed Mngmnt, WWT, WASH, others)Located at present at Chennai, India
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Re: Can we recycle human urine to close the nutrient cycle?

Dear Professor Ajit Seshadri
 
Thank you very much for your information and contact to learn more about Professor Xianayang's work and detailed urine systems for agricultural use.

I will share your information with professionals who are currently working on the urine plant that I mentioned in my first post.
 
Kind regards,
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Re: Can we recycle human urine to close the nutrient cycle?

DearSusanna,
 
Thank you very much for your contribution. I checked the page you shared and the Vuna Nexus experience is inspiring.
 
It isimportant to enter into a circular logic where it is possible to convert “problems” into “potentialities”, as in the case of urine in this project. In this sense, implementing decentralized sanitation solutions that allow us to close the cycle of water and nutrients so that they can be used in the same local environment in which they are produced, is a key aspect to reduce the negative impact of humanity on the environment and become in tune with the circularity of nature.
 
Thanks for sharing this experience.
 
Kind regards,
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Re: Can we recycle human urine to close the nutrient cycle?

Dear Researcher

Pl contact with the below mentioned for URINE R&D
and usage in communities 
Prof Chen Xiangyanp
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Thanks and Regards

Prof Ajit Seshadri 
The Vigyan Vijay Foundation 
www.vigyanvijay.org 
Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, and
Head-Environment , VigyanVijay Foundation, Consultant (Water shed Mngmnt, WWT, WASH, others)Located at present at Chennai, India
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Re: Can we recycle human urine to close the nutrient cycle?

Dear Researcher
One Chinese professor has researched and developed detailed urine systems for agri use
Prof XIANAYANG
I have his details can give on my email 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Pl contact me for details

Thanks and Regards 
Prof Ajit Seshadri 
Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, and
Head-Environment , VigyanVijay Foundation, Consultant (Water shed Mngmnt, WWT, WASH, others)Located at present at Chennai, India
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Re: Can we recycle human urine to close the nutrient cycle?

Thank you for your post. I'm familiar with a similar project in Switzerland called VunaNexus. This Swiss company specializes in recycling urine into natural fertilizers, addressing the issue of nutrient wastage and environmental impact. VunaNexus has developed a patented treatment and recovery system over 15 years of research, transforming urine into a valuable and certified fertilizer known as Aurin. The VUNA project, initially led by Eawag research between 2010 and 2015, aimed to recover nutrients from urine and support farmers in South Africa. There are videos and explanations on their website, making it a very interesting topic. Don't hesitate to have a look; here's their website: www.vunanexus.com/fr_CH 
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Can we recycle human urine to close the nutrient cycle?

Innovative and sustainable sanitation services to ensure access, closure of the nutrient cycle and as a measure of adaptation to climate change
 
Nitrogen and phosphorus are essential for food production in global agriculture. A food security assessment should consider whether there are sufficient nutrients to ensure food production. With a growing world population, the food needs of an additional 2 billion people will need to be met by 2050. In this scenario, innovation to find new sources of nutrients to ensure food security is even more relevant.
 
The Decentralized Sanitation Models in Bolivia program of the Swedish Embassy generated an exchange of Swedish technologies for the crystallization of urine in the municipality of El Alto (La Paz) with the purpose of obtaining a powder fertilizer with a high content of phosphorus and nitrogen, two key elements for food production. This presentation (powder) facilitates the application of the fertilizer for Bolivian farmers. Although the innovation and technology are Swedish, work was carried out to adapt that technology to the Bolivian context with local materials.
 
EPSAS, the operator of drinking water and sanitation services in La Paz,with the support of the Swedish Embassy through the technical assistance of Aguatuya, is developing capabilities to offer innovative sustainable sanitation alternatives, such as decentralized wastewater treatment , septic tanks with scheduled collection of sludge for proper treatment and management of waste from dry ecological toilets, implementing an adequate system for the collection and treatment of fecal sludge and urine until its final disposal, ensuring its continuity, the closure of the cycle of nutrients and sustainability.
 
It is expected that this set of additional solutions will allow EPSAS to provide an innovative, accessible and environmentally sustainable sanitation service for peri-urban populations and even contribute to closing the nutrient cycle and food security in Bolivia. Based on current crop yields, the nutrients available in human excreta could meet the 100% nitrogen and 70% phosphorus deficit. Therefore, excreta recycling could be one of the most innovative strategies to prevent deforestation and nutrient depletion in forests and also increase the circularity of nutrients and crop yields in Bolivia.
 
What do you think about this experience? Do you know similar projects?

We will be very happy to read you.
 
If you want to access the complete note and the file of this treatmentplant, you can access these links:
Full note (English)
Full note (Spanish)
Urine plant technical sheet (Spanish)
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