Assessment Of NPK In Human Male And Female
Urine For Its Fertilising Potential In Agriculture
Alfred L.K. Kuwornu, Kwasi Obiri-Danso
Keywords: female urine, male urine, nitrogen, NPK, phosphorus, potassium.
ABSTRACT: The study evaluated concentrations of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium in male and female urine stored over six months and its potential as a fertilizing agent in agriculture. Urinals were constructed to allow for easy collection of male and female urine and then stored in transparent bottles for six months in a greenhouse. Monthly triplicate analysis of male and female urine was done for nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, temperature, pH and colour change. Bray P1 and Flame photometry methods were used in the determination of phosphorus and potassium contents and Kjedahl digestion and non-digestion (direct) methods for nitrogen content. Temperature, pH and colour were determined using mercury thermometer, temperature/pH meter and a colour chart. Results showed that nitrogen in female urine was significantly (p<0.05) higher than that in male urine after 2 to 5 months of storage. However, there were no significant differences (p>0.05) with respect to the direct method. Contrastingly, phosphorus in male urine was significantly (p<0.05) higher than that in female urine after 2 to 3 months of storage but there were no significant differences in potassium content for all male and female urine samples. Generally, NPK yields in both urine sources peaked four months after storage. There was a moderate positive correlation between the direct female urine Nitrogen, and storage time. The phosphorus levels also correlated positively with storage time and temperature but weakly negative with pH. Generally, urine nitrogen strongly correlated positively with potassium but moderately with temperature and pH. Colour of matured urine (after six months storage) was yellow for females and brown for males. NPK contents in both male (30.4(3.4*)-1-43.7) and female (34.4(6.5*)-1-62.8) urine were comparable to those of chemical fertilizers, such as 21% N ammonia. However, the nitrogen content of digested female urine was significantly higher than that of male urine. Phosphorus concentration was higher in male urine than in female urine during the 2nd and 3rd months of storage. Ecosan urinals (a designed urinal that seeks to separately collect urine to optimize its usefulness) should be designed to separately collect urine for specific NPK requirements for crop production. Results of this study suggest that concentration of NPK in human urine is comparable to commercial chemical fertilizers. Human urine in agriculture should progressively be promoted by governments and other agencies.
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