Project seeks to generate electricity/ammonia from urine

Work began in September 2012 at Wetsus, the Dutch centre of excellence for sustainable water technology, on a project funded by the European Union to generate electricity and recover ammonia from urine.

Project FP7 ValueFromUrine will develop, optimize and evaluate an innovative bio-electrochemical system that allows for the recovery of phosphorus, ammonia and electricity from urine. Phosphorus is a limited resource and ammonia production from inert nitrogen gas in the atmosphere is an energy-intensive process.

The main use of phosphorus and ammonia is fertilizer production. The recovery of nutrients from urine can help to overcome future shortages.

Using an innovative bio-electrochemical system (Microbial Fuel Cell) in combination with phosphorus recovery precipitation (Struvite), valuable ammonia and phosphate salt can be recovered and energy can be produced.

During the inaugural meeting, the seven project partners laid the foundations for the project. They are:

  • Wetsus
  • DeSaH BV (Netherlands)
  • Magneto Special Anodes (Netherlands)
  • Mast Carbon (UK)
  • Abengoa Water (Spain)
  • CRP Henri Tudor (Luxemburg)
  • University of Minho (Portugal).