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Landwirtschaftliche Fakultät - Jahrgang 2013


Titel Nutrient recovery from human urine
Treatment options and reuse potential
Autor Samantha Antonini
Publikationsform Dissertation
Abstract A “No Mix” sanitation system was installed in a dormitory at the University of CanTho in South Vietnam, with the objective of recycling nutrients from source separated wastewater. The “Yellow Water” treatment plant was assessed for its efficiency in recovering phosphorus and nitrogen from human urine. The pilot plant achieved phosphorus removal efficiencies of 98% with both diluted and undiluted urine. Phosphorus was recovered in the form of struvite, a solid mineral fertilizer with heavy metal concentrations below the German Fertilizer Regulation’s threshold limits. About 110 g of struvite could be generated after one treatment cycle, during which 50 L of urine were processed. Nitrogen removal by air stripping showed best results when circulating the urine for 3 h through the stripping column at a high flow rate (80 L h-1). With these settings, more than 90% of the nitrogen could be removed from the urine, and virtually 100% of this nitrogen could be recovered in the form of liquid ammonium sulfate. In future, treatment costs could be further reduced by making use of the solar energy that is available during daytime in South Vietnam.
In a second experiment, a pilot scale evaporation technology was operated in Vietnam for recovering nitrogen and phosphorus from human urine by solar still for use as fertilizer. After 26 days of sun exposure, 360 g of solid fertilizer material was recovered from 50 L undiluted urine. This urine-derived fertilizer was mainly composed of sodium chloride, and had phosphorus and nitrogen contents of almost 2%. When tested with maize and ryegrass, the urine fertilizer led to biomass yields and phosphorus and nitrogen uptake rates comparable to those induced by a commercial mineral fertilizer. Urine acidification with sulfuric or phosphoric acid prior treatment reduced nitrogen losses, improved the nutrient content of the generated fertilizers and induced higher yields and nitrogen and phosphorus uptake rates than the commercial mineral fertilizer. However, acidification is not recommended in developing countries due to additional costs and handling risks. The fate of micropollutants and the possibility of separating sodium chloride from other beneficial nutrients require further investigation.
Finally, six urine-derived struvite fertilizers generated by innovative precipitation technologies were assessed for their quality and their effectiveness as phosphorus sources for crops. Struvite purity was influenced by drying techniques and magnesium dosage. In a pot trial, the urine fertilizers led to biomass yields and phosphorus uptake rates comparable to or higher than those induced by a commercial mineral fertilizer. Heavy metal concentrations were below the threshold limits specified by the German Fertilizer and Sewage Sludge Regulations. The computed loading rates of heavy metals to agricultural land were also below the threshold limits decreed by the Federal Soil Protection Act. Urine-derived struvite contributed less to heavy metal inputs to farmland than other recycling products or commercial mineral and organic fertilizers. When combined with other soil conditioners, urine-derived struvite is an efficient fertilizer which covers the magnesium and more than half of the phosphorus demand of crops.
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© Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Bonn | Veröffentlicht: 17.05.2013