Human Urine : can it be applied as fertilizer in agricultural systems?

University essay from Högskolan Kristianstad/Fakulteten för naturvetenskap

Abstract: In cities today, vast amounts of nutrients are being wasted. Improvement in nutrient management within agriculture can contribute to a more sustainable society. Reusing nutrients in agriculture could aid in creating a more circular system, where organic fertilizers can be used instead of chemical fertilizers. Urine is a liquid which has a high nutrient content. According to the Swedish environmental protection agency, human urine can replace mineral fertilizers, by using methods such as source separation, where urine is divided from faeces. This is a cheap, effective and sustainable fertilizer management system that can be easily achieved. In this study, urine fertilizers were compared with ecological and conventional fertilizers (NPK and cow manure). The study examined the effect of different urine fertilizers compared with organic and inorganic ones on plant growth, nutrient content, pH value and microbial growth. The plant growth experiment was carried out in the greenhouse facilities in Alnarp, Sweden. The results from the experiment show that cow manure has a better outcome when it comes to plant growth, but Aurin, one of the urine fertilizers, had the highest uptake of nitrate. Non-diluted urine had a stable result in all analyses. According to this study human urine is a fertilizer which can be used in crop cultivation systems, and can deliver good agricultural results.

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