Analysis of Npk in Human Male and Female Urine

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January 2010.
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This study was to analyze the concentration of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium in male, female and composite urine stored over six months and its use in agriculture. Urinals were constructed to allow for easy collection of separate urine which was stored in transparent bottles for six months in a greenhouse. Monthly triplicate analysis of male, female and composite urine was done for nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, temperature, pH and colour change. Bray P1 and Flame photometry methods were used in analyzing phosphorus and potassium contents respectively. Nitrogen content was analysed by Kjeldahl digestion and a non-digestion (direct) methods. The temperature, pH and colour were determined using mercury thermometer, temperature/ pH meter and a colour chart. The results indicated that the digested female urine nitrogen was significantly (p<0.05) higher than that of male urine from month 2 to month 5. However, there were no significant differences (p>0.05) with respect to the direct method. Contrastingly, male urine phosphorus content was significantly (p<0.05) higher than the female on the 2nd and 3rd months, but there were no significant differences in potassium content for all the different urine. Generally the yield of NPK in all the urine sources peaked on the 4th month. There was a moderate positive correlation between the direct female urine N, and the storage time. The phosphorus levels correlated positively to storage time and temperature but weakly negative to pH. Generally, the urine nitrogen strongly correlated positive to potassium but moderately to temperature and pH. The colour of mature urine is yellow for females and brown for males. The NPK contents in both male (30.4(3.4*)-1-43.7) and female (34.4(6.5*)-1-62.8) urine are comparable to chemical fertilizers. However, the digested female urine nitrogen is significantly higher than that of male urine but vice versa for phosphorus for 2nd and 3rd months of storage. Ecosan urinals should be designed to separately collect urine for specific NPK requirements for crop production. This study will help famers and Governments to save money on the importation of chemical fertilisers.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Partial Fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE (Environmental Science)