Processing human urine to recycle nutrients into fertilizer
This sustainable agriculture research relies on a unique contribution from humans -- urine. And, once you get beyond the "giggle" factor, it's an idea that is proving itself worthy of investigation. Fertilizer is made of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus that require energy to produce. Human urine is full of those same nutrients, but we literally flush them down the toilet. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), University of Michigan environmental engineer Nancy Love and a team that includes the non-profit, Rich Earth Institute, are fine-tuning new methods to process human urine into fertilizer. The team wants to create a more sustainable fertilizer while at the same time eliminating a waste that contributes to water pollution.
The research in this episode was supported by NSF award #1639244, INFEWS/Track 3: Advancing Technologies and Improving Communication of Urine-Derived Fertilizers for Food Production within a Risk-Based Framework.
Credit: National Science Foundation
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