University of Michigan Study Considers Urine Diversion for Crop Fertilizer

A new study led by the University of Michigan found that diverting urine from wastewater treatment at the city scale and recycling it to make crop fertilizer would result in multiple environmental benefits. The researchers found that urine diversion and recycling led to reductions of 26% to 64% in greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, freshwater consumption, and the potential to fuel algal blooms in surface water. This study compared the performance of large-scale, centralized urine-diversion and fertilizer-production facilities to conventional wastewater treatment plants and the production of synthetic fertilizers using non-renewable resources. Urine diversion and recycling was the clear winner in most categories of the life-cycle assessment.