We look at the most important issues of the global nitrogen and phosphorus cycle and conclude that the nutrients from human metabolism are of no importance for the global nitrogen cycle and of minor importance for the global phosphorus cycle. However, for water pollution control, N and P from the human metabolism are of extreme importance. Nitrogen is mainly an issue for coastal waters, whereas P is an issue for freshwater and coastal areas alike. It is by now generally recognised that coastal ecosystems are exceedingly important for human well-being and at the same time highly endangered. The recycling issue is of high importance in areas where nutrient application is low due to economic constraints. NoMix technology (urine source separation) holds a large promise to become an efficient mainstream technology. The largest short-term potential is found in densely populated areas in coastal areas without existing infrastructure and in areas with nutrient deficiency, especially in urban areas with a large nutrient potential. We believe, however, that these technologies will, with time, also become competitive in Europe.
Nutrient cycles and resource management: implications for the choice of wastewater treatment technology
T.A. Larsen, M. Maurer, K.M. Udert, J. Lienert; Nutrient cycles and resource management: implications for the choice of wastewater treatment technology. Water Sci Technol 1 September 2007; 56 (5): 229–237. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2007.576
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