Because of its potential use as fertilizer, urine (“yellow water”) is a resource originating from sanitation. Its separate collection in no-mix toilets is a beneficial aspect of ecological (source control) sanitation. In order to avoid dilution of the fertilizing nutrients with toilet flush water, the utilization of yellow water as toilet flush liquid seems to be advantageous. To be accepted for this purpose, urine has to be decolorized (and also deodorized). In this study activated carbon adsorption, irradiation with UV light of different wavelengths, the advanced oxidation processes ultrasound, UV/H2O2, and photocatalytic oxidation have failed to decolorize urine. Biological treatment caused brown colour of the treated urine. Only ozonation was successful in colour removal, although it did not affect TOC. In spite of darkening of yellow water during biological treatment (generation of humic substances), smaller ozone doses were required for decolorizing the biologically pre-treated urine than for original urine. Photocatalytic oxidation of biologically treated urine also removed brown colour, but the original yellow colour remained. In ozonated urine, yellow colour was reconstituted unless hydrogen peroxide was added. In addition to colour removal, ozone contributed to deodorization as a consequence of ammonia stripping and probably of phenol oxidation.

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