Ion-exchange softening of human urine to control precipitation

Treavor Boyer, Kyle Taylor, Alesandra Reed, Daniel Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A major barrier to widespread implementation of urine source-separation is the uncontrolled precipitation of magnesium (Mg) and calcium (Ca) minerals in waterless urinal plumbing, which results in clogging that increases maintenance requirements. The goal of this research was to investigate the use of ion-exchange softening of undiluted, fresh human urine to control precipitation reactions in hydrolyzed urine. The working hypothesis was that selective removal of Ca and Mg from undiluted, fresh urine by cation exchange resin would decrease the precipitation of Ca and Mg minerals in hydrolyzed urine. Ion-exchange experiments and precipitation experiments were used to investigate ion-exchange reactions in synthetic urine. Cation exchange resin (Amberlite A200C) removed both Ca and Mg from undiluted, fresh urine with a greater affinity for Ca over Mg. Precipitation experiments showed that struvite, MgNH4PO4·6H2O, and hydroxyapatite, Ca5(PO4)3(OH), were the dominant minerals in untreated and ion-exchange treated hydrolyzed urine. Overall, ion-exchange softening decreased the mass of solids that would be deposited in the urinal plumbing and increased the phosphate available for nutrient recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)564-571
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Progress and Sustainable Energy
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

softening
urine
Magnesium
ion exchange
Ion exchange
Calcium
Cation Exchange Resins
Plumbing
Minerals
magnesium
calcium
Source separation
Experiments
Resins
Positive ions
Durapatite
resin
mineral
Nutrients
struvite

Keywords

  • calcium
  • ion exchange
  • magnesium
  • phosphate
  • polymeric resin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this

Ion-exchange softening of human urine to control precipitation. / Boyer, Treavor; Taylor, Kyle; Reed, Alesandra; Smith, Daniel.

In: Environmental Progress and Sustainable Energy, Vol. 33, No. 2, 2014, p. 564-571.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Boyer, Treavor ; Taylor, Kyle ; Reed, Alesandra ; Smith, Daniel. / Ion-exchange softening of human urine to control precipitation. In: Environmental Progress and Sustainable Energy. 2014 ; Vol. 33, No. 2. pp. 564-571.
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