Comparison of classic and chemometric methods used for phosphate removal from fresh human urine under optimum conditions


  • E Öztekin Environmental Engineering Department, Zonguldak Bülent Ecevit University, Zonguldak 67100, Turkey
  • S Çolak Department of Chemical and Chemical Processing Technologies, Çaycuma Food and Agriculture Vocational School, Zonguldak Bülent Ecevit University, Çaycuma/Zonguldak 67000, Turkey
  • H İnan Environmental Engineering Department, Gebze Technical University, Gebze/Kocaeli 41400, Turkey



Fe-Fe electrode, electrocoagulation, fresh human urine, nutrient recovery, central composite design


Human urine constitutes 1% of domestic wastewater and can be used to recover nitrogen and phosphorus when collected separately at source. Sustainable nutrient (nitrogen, phosphate, potassium) cycling requires the recovery of these valuable resources from human urine. As nitrogen and phosphorus are valuable nutrients needed for plant growth, these components of urine are an excellent fertilizer. Phosphorus can be applied in natural fertilizers and in addition the pollution load of wastewater treatment plants is reduced. Different nutrient removal and recovery methods from urine have been studied at lab scale, but none so far has reached technological competence and none has been extended to practical use. The focus of this study was to evaluate electrocoagulation as a process for the removal of phosphate from fresh human urine using iron plate electrodes. The effect of pH and current density on phosphate removal was investigated. While determining the optimum conditions for removal, classical and chemometric methods were compared. Using the central composite design (CCD), optimum conditions were determined with only 13 experiments, and time and labour savings were achieved compared to the classical method. Initial pH values and current density were controlled within the range of pH 5–9 and current density 12-40 mA/cm2.  From the obtained results, it was found that optimal initial current density is 40 mA/cm2 for both methods, and optimal pH is 7 for the classical method and 6.24 for CCD, which is the natural pH of human urine. Realization of phosphate removal using optimum conditions discovered with CCD, provides savings on experimental effort, time, chemicals and energy consumption, and will contribute to resource recovery, reduction of wastewater load and sustainable fertilizer production.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...




How to Cite

E Öztekin, S Çolak, & H İnan. (2022). Comparison of classic and chemometric methods used for phosphate removal from fresh human urine under optimum conditions. Water SA, 48(3 July).



Research paper