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BIOUREA – Innovative fertilizer products used in closed nutrient cycles 2015-2016

The project aims at creating a model for and to test large scale utilisation of toilet based fertiliser products.  Key objectives are to develop and test technologies for collection and management, acquire official acceptance and permit for using these fertilizers in agriculture in Finland, and to demonstrate the efficiency and safety of the use of these products. In addition, the cost efficiency of the alternative models and systems are estimated. The project is to be implemented during 2015 – 2016.

In the first year supporting farmers are scouted and urine and dry toilet compost is collected.  Urine is stored and faeces are composted in order to make them safe for use as fertilizers and soil conditioners. In the second year, fertilization and growing experiments are started. The collected biomasses will be tested for nutritional value as well as for pathogens (Salmonella and E.coli) and other harmfull subtances.  In addition, we will establish cost and life cycle review between urine demanding collection infrastructure and the current wastewater treatment system.

Overall, the project theme is very sensitive and therefore a lot of work is needed in influencing the attitudes and prejudices of the public, decision makers, politicians and officials towards the reuse of toilet fertilizers. Thus one important part of the project is to produce solid scientific proof about the benefits and efficiency of these fertilizer products and to also show with the model the opportunities of alternatives in closing the nutrient loop in communities.

The project is executed by Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK), Global Dry Toilet Association and the Finnish Environment Institute as a joint project. The project involves the Ministry of Agriculture and Forest (MKT) experts as well as supporting farmers – who will carry-out the fertilization experiments.

The project is funded by the Ministry of Environment and the aim of the programme is to promote the recycling of nutrients and to improve the health status of the Archipelago Sea  (so called RAKI-programme).

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