Urban nutrient recovery from fresh human urine through cultivation of Chlorella sorokiniana
Zhang, S.; Lim, C.Yong.; Chen, C-Lung.; Liu, H.; Wang, J-Yuan.
Journal of Environmental Management 145: 129-136
High rate food consumption in urban cities causes vast amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus used in agriculture to end up in urban wastewaters. To substantially recover these nutrients, source-separated human urine should be targeted. The present study was to investigate the feasibility of recovering nitrogen and phosphorus in urine via microalgae cultivation. In concentrated urine, urea hydrolysis and precipitation occur rapidly, making microalgal growth difficult and nutrient recovery ineffective. However, when fresh urine was added as nutrient stock for 1-day growth requirement, biomass of Chlorella sorokiniana grew from 0.44 to 0.96 g L(-1) utilising 62.64 mg L(-1) of N and 10.64 mg L(-1) of P, achieving 80.4% and 96.6% recoveries, respectively in a 1-day non-sterile cultivation cycle. Overall, microalgae grown with urine added as nutrient supplement show no signs of inferiority as compared to those grown in recipe medium BG11 in terms of mass and chlorophyll a growth rates as well as resulting lipids (36.8%) and energy contents (21.0 kJ g(-1)).