The Recycling of Human Urine 100% Ecological and Without Taboos
The company based in Loupiac de la Reole recycles human urine to recover it as organic fertilizer. Scooping up all the innovation prizes, it attracts French and foreign investors who are betting on this new sector capable of shaking the giants of industrial fertilizers.
He is young, did not have a great education, and yet Michael Roes has managed to embark on his adventure, scientists, engineers, farmers, local officials and investors. While looking to expand his small business of natural plant-based fertilizers, he stumbled upon the unglamorous but essential idea of recycling urine. What was initially a problem mentioned by one of his friends who rented dry toilets as an expensive sanitation operation, he will transform this waste into organic fertilizer at an unbeatable price while organizing a solution to preserve drinking water resources.
Innovate by drawing inspiration from alumni
The idea is not new, however, since before the arrival of the petrochemical industry urine was already used as a fertilizer by our elders. It is enough to document oneself to learn that less than a century ago, in Paris, half of the urine was still recycled. A whole history transcribed, for example, in the thesis of Fabien Esculier, engineer of the Water and Forest Bridges of the Water Environment and Urban Systems Laboratory, which shows that without synthetic fertilizers, humanity did indeed recycle its urine, the only sources in the world. era of nutrients like nitrogen. A practice that died out with the advent of an easier-to-use solution offered by petrochemicals.
For comparison, today, with 200 kilos of industrial nitrogen fertilizer, a stable fertilizer that does not smell and easy to spread, we fertilize a hectare of wheat, we would have to spread the equivalent of 30,000 liters of urine. to achieve the same result. A complicated operation for a farmer who would require a lot of time, a lot of mechanization and which also has the disadvantage of smelling bad. The constraints would be such that today it is impossible if only economically to return to these ancestral methods recognizes Michael Roes. It is unthinkable for a farmer today to give up chemical fertilizers for a solution that would be more restrictive and more expensive. It would be in particular on this observation that the research and development departments of the large industrial groups working on the subject stumbled, explains the young entrepreneur: