Field testing a pilot-scale system for alkaline dehydration of source-separated human urine: a case study in Finland

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/334236

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Simha P, Karlsson C, Viskari E-L, Malila, R. and Vinnerås, B. (2020) Field testing a pilot scale system for alkaline dehydration of source-separated human urine: a case study in Finland. Front Environ Sci. 8: 570637, doi: 10.3389/fenvs. 2020.570637

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Title: Field testing a pilot-scale system for alkaline dehydration of source-separated human urine: a case study in Finland
Author: Simha, Prithvi; Karlsson, Caroline; Viskari, Eeva-Liisa; Malila, Riikka; Vinnerås, Björn
Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
Date: 2020
Language: en
Belongs to series: Frontiers in Environmental Science 8, 11.9.2020
ISSN: 2296-665X
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/334236
Abstract: Alkaline dehydration can treat human urine to produce a dry and nutrient-rich fertilizer. To evaluate the technology at pilot-scale, we built a prototype with capacity to treat 30 L urine d−1 and field tested it for the first time at a military training camp in Finland. We operated the system for 3 months and monitored the recovery of nutrients, end-product composition, physicochemical properties and energy consumption. Results revealed that the system received less urine than anticipated, but achieved high dehydration rates (30–40 L d−1m−2), recovered 30 ± 6% N, and yielded end-products with 1.4% N, 0.9% P, and 8.3% K. However, we demonstrated that the system had potential to recover nearly 70% N and produce fertilizers containing 13.2% N, 2.3% P, and 6.0% K, if it was operated at the design capacity. The energy demand for dehydrating urine was not optimized, but we suggested several ways of reducing it. We also discussed concerns surrounding non-essential heavy metals, salts, and micropollutants, and how they can be overcome to safely recycle urine. Lastly, we pointed out the research gaps that need to be addressed before the technology can be implemented at larger scale.
Subject: circular bioeconomy
decentralized systems
nutrient recycling
resource recovery
sanitation
source-separation
urine drying
wastewater treatment
Subject (ysa): kiertoekotalous
hajautetut systeemit
ravinteiden kierrätys
resurssien hyödyntäminen
jätevesihuolto
lähteen erottaminen
virtsan kuivaus
jätevesien käsittely
kiertotalous
virtsa
ravinnekierto
uudelleenkäyttö
biotalous
jäteveden käsittely
erotusmenetelmät


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