This research explored the possibility of making fertilizer at a laboratory from source separated and untreated human urine added to ash and lime by drying at low temperatures. A mixture of ash and lime (1:1) was used as drying agent and human urine was applied as undiluted and fresh. Ash and lime were chosen as drying agents for maintaining a pH > 10 during the drying process, which should inhibit urea hydrolysis in urine, and thereby urea should be retained in the drying agent. The drying technique was developed and drying capacity of the system was quantified; three specific temperatures (20 °, 35 °, 60 °C) and two airflow rates (1 L/min and 5 L/min) were used in the experiment. A mass balance for nitrogen in the system was obtained. It was evident from the experiment that urea can be retained by maintaining a high pH (>10). Urine drying at 20 °C was not a feasible option, since rate of evaporation was very low. The highest retention of inflow nitrogen at 35 °C and 60 °C were 74% and 54%, respectively, in the produced fertilizer. Reduced evaporation rate, flooding of urine over drying agent, and blockage in airflow influenced nitrogen loss and concentration of nitrogen in the final product.
Fertilizer from dried human urine added to ash and lime – a potential product from eco-sanitation system
Shanta Dutta, Björn Vinnerås; Fertilizer from dried human urine added to ash and lime – a potential product from eco-sanitation system. Water Sci Technol 29 September 2016; 74 (6): 1436–1445. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2016.324
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