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Photocatalytic Disinfection of Contaminated Source-Separated Human Urine for Safe Use as a Fertilizer

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Title: Photocatalytic Disinfection of Contaminated Source-Separated Human Urine for Safe Use as a Fertilizer
Author: Piagno, Haley
Department: School of Engineering
Program: Engineering
Advisor: McBean, Edward
Abstract: Human urine contains an abundance of nutrients, and can be used as a fertilizer following sanitization to reduce the microbial risks associated with fecal cross-contamination. Photocatalytic disinfection (PCD) may be an alternative to the current sanitization approach if it can be shown to provide effective sanitization at a reasonable incremental cost. This research included an assessment of risk related to handling contaminated urine, evaluations of photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue (an indicator) and PCD in urine, and a brief evaluation of costs and benefits of urine source-separation and PCD. Tests showed that urine has an inhibitory effect on photocatalysis. Under the conditions tested, PCD is not an effective method for sanitization of contaminated urine. Recommendations to reduce microbial risks associated with the use of urine as a fertilizer include prevention of fecal contamination and implementation of strategies to minimize exposure to pathogens.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/8377
Date: 2014-08
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