In the hopes of helping his country’s agriculture industry, a high-ranking Indian minister, Nitin Gadkari, proposed a novel idea: to convert the nutrients in people’s urine into fertilizer. The Indian water resources minister said that this would eliminate the need to import 6 million metric tons of urea every year. Gadkari proposed in 2017; he wanted to set up urine banks in agricultural districts for farmers to use the liquid fertilizer. It would cost 1 rupee (1.5 cents) per liter.
The minister said in a gathering, located at his home town of Nagpur, that the agriculture industry of India will be twice as profitable if they start storing the urine of the entire country. He claims that his garden has grown into a green lush because he waters them with urine. In fact, there’s a company called Vuna, that uses urine for its nutrients in projects across Europe and Africa, and its director, Bastian Ester, agreed that urine fertilizers increase the fertility of the soil and improve crop yields. They are better than synthetic fertilizers because they are more subtle and balanced. Ester told in an interview at the South China Morning Post that if India starts reusing their nutrients from urine, they will have more economic independence and would be able to progress from there.
Urine is comprised of two percent urea. To eliminate the six million metric tons of urea that India imports annually, the country has to gather 300 million metric tons of liquid. Gadkari firmly believes that it is achievable in a population of 1.3 billion. Scientists also see urine as a valuable biological product that can be used in a plethora of things, like making bricks.
Bio-bricks promote sustainable architecture and was created through a method in which an enzyme, urease, breaks down the urea in urine and produces calcium carbonate in the process. It turns solid when combined with sand, as reported by the Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering.