Recovering nitrogen and phosphorus from urine to improve ecological and food security

Noterapide Environment, #41

17 December 2020ContactManuel Pruvost-Bouvattier, Martial Vialleix, Aurélie Joveniaux (Programme Ocapi au Leesu), Fabien Esculier (École des Ponts ParisTech)

Nitrogen and phosphorus, which are vital to agriculture, currently depend to an alarming degree on massively imported fossil resources. Beyond its impacts on aquatic environments and the climate, this reality poses a huge unrecognised threat to the sustainability of our food. The separate collection and recycling of urine to make fertiliser may be part of a solution, provided significant changes are made to food and sanitation systems. Social acceptability is also an issue. This perspective involves redesigning urban sanitation systems and changing the way they connect to the rural environment. Across the world, in France, and now in the Paris Region, key actors are moving in this direction.

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