An investigation into the potential use of nutrients recovered from urine diversion on a summer housing site: self-sufficiency based on nitrogen balance

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

ECOSAN is a recent domestic wastewater management concept which suggests segregation at the source. One of these streams, yellow water (human urine) has the potential to be used as fertilizer, directly or indirectly, because of its rich content of plant nutrients. One physicochemical method for indirect use is adsorption/ion exchange using clinoptilolite. This paper aims to present the results of a scenario focusing on possible diversion of urine and self-sufficiency of nutrients recovered on site through the use of this process, using actual demographic and territorial information from an existing summer housing site. Specifically, this paper aims to answer the questions: (i) how much nitrogen can be recovered to be used as fertilizer by diverting urine? and (ii) is this sufficient or in surplus within the model housing site? This sets an example of resource-oriented sanitation using stream segregation as a wastewater management strategy in a small community. Nitrogen was taken as the basis of calculations/predictions and the focus was placed on whether nitrogen is self-sufficient or in excess as fertilizer for use within the premises. The results reveal that the proposed application makes sense and that urine coming from the housing site is self-sufficient as fertilizer within the housing site itself.

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