Cookie tracking notice
Are we allowed to crumble with cookies and anonymous tracking?

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site (so called session cookies), while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). We use the application Matomo and the external service etracker to analyze your behavior on our website anonymously. Because we value your privacy, we are here with asking your permission to use the following technologies. You can change your settings any time via this link or the menu item in footer menu. For more information visit our Data Policy

Nutrients in urine: energetic aspects of removal and recovery

Maurer, M., Schwegler, P., Larsen, T. A. (2003)

Published in: 2003

Water Science and Technology, Vol 48, No 1, pp 37–46

Maurer, M., Schwegler, P., Larsen, T. A.

Uploaded by:
SuSanA secretariat

Partner profile:
common upload


Content - Summary

The analysis of different removal and recovery techniques for nutrients in urine shows that in many cases recovery is energetically more efficient than removal and new-production from natural resources. Considering only the running electricity and fossil energy requirements for the traditional way of wastewater treatment and fertiliser production, the following specific energy requirements can be calculated: 45 MJ kg–1 N for denitrification in a WWTP, 49 MJ kg–1 P for P-precipitation in a WWTP, 45 MJ kg–1 N for N-fertiliser and 29 MJ kg–1 P for P-fertiliser production. These numbers are higher than the values derived for thermal volume reduction of urine (35 MJ kg–1 N for eliminating 90% water) or production of struvite (102 MJ kg–1 N, including 2.2 kg P). Considering only the electricity and fossil energy for the traditional way of wastewater treatment and fertiliser production, the energy value of 1 PE urine is 0.87 MJ PE–1d–1 (fertiliser value: 0.44, wastewater treatment: 0.43 MJ PE–1d–1). A more detailed life cycle assessment (LCA) of the entire urine collection system, including the required materials and the environmental burden, support the energy analysis. The LCA compares conventional denitrification in a wastewater treatment plant with collecting urine in households, reducing the volume by evaporation and using it as a multi-nutrient fertiliser. The primary energy consumption for recovery and reuse of urine, including the nutrients N, P and K, is calculated with 65 MJ kg–1 N, compared with 153 MJ kg–1 N derived for the conventional ‘recycling over the atmosphere’.

Additional information

(Abstract only)

Bibliographic information

Maurer, M., Schwegler, P., Larsen, T. A. (2003). Nutrients in urine: energetic aspects of removal and recovery. Water Science and Technology, Vol 48, No 1, pp 37–46

Filter tags

English Renewable energies and climate change (WG3) Urine


Nutrients in urine: energetic aspects of removal and recovery

Format: pdf file
Size: 0.04 MB

Share this page on    

Follow us on    

SuSanA Partners  currently 400 partners

Networks Circle


Latest SuSanA Blog Articles

SuSanA Blog »

SuSanA newsletter

Stay informed about the activities of SuSanA and its partners. The SuSanA newsletter is sent out around four times per year. It contains information about news, events, new partners, projects, discussions and publications of the SuSanA network.

Subscribe to newsletter »




Resources and publications

Our library has more than 3,000 publications, factsheets, presentations, drawings etc. from many different organisations. It continues to grow thanks to the contributions from our partners.

Add item to library »

The three links below take you to special groups of items in the library for more convenient access:


The project database contains nearly 400 sanitation projects of many different organizations dealing with research, implementation, advocacy, capacity development etc. Advanced filtering functions and a global map are also available. Information on how and why this database was created is here.

People working for SuSanA partners can add their own projects through their partner profile page. You might need your SuSanA login upgraded for this purpose. Please contact us if you would like to add a project.

Trainings, conference and events materials

Missed important conferences or courses? Catch up by using their materials for self study. These materials have been kindly provided by SuSanA partners.

Shit flow diagrams, excreta flow diagrams (310 SFDs worldwide)

Shit flow diagrams (SFDs) help to visualize excreta management in urban settings. Access SFDs and more through the SFD Portal.

Emersan eCompendium

Humanitarian Sanitation Hub

Sanitation Workers Knowledge and Learning Hub




Discussion forum

Share knowledge, exchange experiences, discuss challenges, make announcements, ask questions and more. Hint: Your discussion forum login is the same as your SuSanA login. More about the forum's philosophy »

Integrated content

We are hosting content from some other communities of practice and information-sharing portals. This section also provides a link to SuSanA's Sanitation Wikipedia initiative.

Suggest content to add »

SuSanA partners

Not yet a SuSanA partner? Show your organisation's support to SuSanA's vision and engage in  knowledge sharing by becoming partners.

Apply to become a partner »

Individual membership

Register as an individual member of SuSanA free of charge. As a member you can interact with thousands of sanitation enthusiasts on the discussion forum.  You can also get engaged in one of our 13 working groups and our regional chapters. Our FAQs explain the benefits further.

By getting a SuSanA login you can fully participate in the SuSanA community!

Register as a member


Forgot your password?
Forgot your username?