Recycling Phosphorus from Single Houses – Avoiding a Potential Future Food Crisis
High levels of nitrogen and phosphorus (nutrients found in sewage) in untreated waste water can cause a green algal scum to grow and bloom in lakes and seas. Phosphorus is also used as a fertiliser when growing all commercial plants and crops. It is now becoming known that the world is running out of phosphorus.
Our rapidly growing world population has become dependent on mined phosphorus. Phosphate fertilizer is however a very finite and limited resource and mankind is rapidly mining it from the ground. As the world’s phosphorus resource becomes depleted over the coming decades our approach to sewage treatment will have to switch from simply treating phosphorus, as we are trying to do at present, to a future system of efficient separation, recovery, and its full recycling as a sustainable fertiliser to grow food. Since it is quite expensive to re-plumb a house or building we should therefore be encouraging, requiring and supporting homeowners in this generation to install phosphate recovery systems in every new and refurbished house. Mankind has been in the recent past slow, reluctant, or unwilling to plan for the future consequences of climate change. Likewise we now need to be active in separating, recycling and reusing our phosphate waste.
The Wasting of Phosphorus – the Fertiliser Needed for Food Production
It is estimated that the worlds mineral resources of phosphorus rock (fertilizer used for growing grass and crops) is limited and that within the coming decades that we will see volatile phosphorus fertilizer prices. Eventually we will be unable to meet the world demand for this fertilizer. This will eventually cause world food prices to rise. This highlights the importance of recovering fertilizer from waste water, with many countries already looking at options around reusing human waste and turning it into fertilizer.
Recycling Phosphorus from Single Houses by Separating Urine and Using it as Fertiliser
This system allows you to treat urine which is collected separately to toilet solids. The nitrogen and phosphorus in urine are important nutrients needed for growing plants and can be used as fertilizer. This treated fertilizer can be used to intensively grow plants.
The leaves from these plants can then be cut 2-3 times a year and spread around the garden on fruit trees and other plants.
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Growing plants hygienically on a Green Wall using separated urine and recycling the phosphorus as cut leaves to grow food
To reduce mains water demand and water charges by 25% use a porcelain waterless toilet which are hygienic, clean and odorless. This system – also prevents harmful natural pollutants from domestic sewage being released into the environment, effecting our lakes and waterways.
Every month the semi-dry toilet solids are removed to an outside bin for later composting. The urine is used as a natural fertilizer.
Farmers can also use the separated urine to recycle the phosphorus and grow crops in a sustainable way.
PhosphorusFutures – Phosphorus Sustainability
Human Intervention of Phosphorus in the Global Food System
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