According to researchers, using human urine or peecycling could be a liquid gold alternative to chemical fertilizers while also helping cut down waste.

Source: Rich Earth Institute/Youtube

Amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, chemical fertilizer shortages are persisting, and experts are now saying that peecycling, or the process of recycling human urine, could increase the yield of nutrient-rich crops.

Fabien Esculier, a researcher at the OCAPI research program in France, told Euro News that urine contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, making it a nutrient-rich alternative. Human waste is less polluting than synthetic fertilizers, which contain ammonia.

Russia exports nearly 20 percent of the world’s nitrogen fertilizers and, combined with Belarus, 40 percent of the world’s exported potassium.

The Rich Earth Institute, a non-profit based in Vermont, has been working to create alternative waste management options for over ten years. The Institute’s mission is to create a world with clean water and fertile soil achieved by reclaiming the nutrients from our bodies as elements in a life-sustaining cycle, according to Rich Earth Institute.

The research division of the Institute studies how urine can be used as a fertilizer to grow crops. They also offer community members the chance to rent toilets for public events that collect urine.

The researchers are looking into the effect of pharmaceuticals in urine and how that could negatively impact crop growth. The team conducted a study from 2014 to 2020 and found that there are some pharmaceuticals detectable in crop tissue, but the levels were very small.

Although there will be a lot of obstacles to using human urine on a large scale, gas prices are soaring, and researchers believe that urine could be the future of natural fertilizers. Check out this guide on how to use your nitrogen-rich urine as fertilizer!

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