The design allows for the separation of urine, which is rich in nutrients and when treated can be used as fertiliser
Spotted: EOOS bathroom brand Laufen, and the Swiss water research institute (EAWAG) have collaborated to develop a toilet that diverts urine. By doing so, urine can be treated and used as fertiliser. The mechanism could also avoid pollution of the world’s rivers and oceans.
The design involves a “urine trap”, an internal ceramic curvature created by EOOS that is shaped to capture liquid as it reaches the bowl. This is combined with Laufen’s “diversion” model that uses very little water, about 1.5 litres per use.
Urine is rich in nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, and if treated can be used as fertiliser or as an accelerator for compost. The treatment process is where EAWAG comes in.
Researchers at EAWAG found a way to purify urine with decentralised reactors that remove micro-pollutants. The process involves microbial transformation, activated carbon filtration and distillation to recover the refined urine. The final product is a fertiliser called Aurin. Aurin has been approved by the Swiss Federal Office of Agriculture as safe for all plants.