The use of human waste products like urine has been explored by scientists in the past few years.
In a recent study, experts examined how the use of human urine in farms is linked to geography. Results showed that aside from population and proximity to farms, there are also other factors at play such as human diet.
Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are nutrients that can be harnessed from human urine for agricultural purposes. If people consume food with these substances, they release them through their urine since the body does not need to absorb them.
Researchers examined where the most nutrient-rich urine can be produced. They looked into the centers of population as well as sanitation facilities in more than one hundred countries to find out.
Countries where populations greatly overlap with agricultural areas are good sites for maximizing human urine’s agricultural benefits. However, researchers say that sanitation facilities in many of these places still have a lot of room for improvement.
In countries where population centers are distant from farms, processing and transport of waste can be expensive. On the other hand, there are highly populated agricultural lands and sites with great sanitation infrastructure, too, making them an ideal location for harvesting and recycling human urine for farm use.
It goes to show that the effectiveness of human waste as fertilizers may change depending on location.