Urine (from Latin Urina, ae, f.) is a typically sterile liquid by-product of the body secreted by the kidneys through a process called urination and excreted through the urethra. Cellular metabolism generates numerous by-products, many rich in nitrogen, that require elimination from the bloodstream. These by-products are eventually expelled from the body during urination, the primary method for excreting water-soluble chemicals from the body. These chemicals can be detected and analyzed by urinalysis. Certain disease conditions can result in pathogen-contaminated urine

Tanning - Tanners soaked animal skins in urine to remove hair fibers—a necessary step in the preparation of leather.

This ancient process is still used at Tanneries of Nilfeheim

Textiles - Urine has often been used as a mordant to help prepare textiles, especially wool, for dyeing. In Scotland, the process of "walking" (stretching) tweed cloth is preceded by soaking in urine

Since it is an effective Fertilizer [1] it is also traded  on the XChange -



Main article: Fertilizer Urine contains large quantities of nitrogen (mostly as urea), as well as significant quantities of dissolved phosphates and potassium, the main macronutrients required by plants, with urine having plant macronutrient percentages (i.e. NPK) of approximately 11-1-2 by one study[19] or 15-1-2 by another report,[20] illustrating that exact composition varies with diet. Undiluted, it can chemically burn the roots of some plants, but it can be used safely as a source of complementary nitrogen in carbon-rich compost.[21]

When diluted with water (at a 1:5 ratio for container-grown annual crops with fresh growing medium each season,[22] or a 1:8 ratio for more general use[21]), it can be applied directly to soil as a fertilizer. The fertilization effect of urine has been found to be comparable to that of commercial fertilizers with an equivalent NPK rating.[23] Urine contains most (94% according to Wolgast[19]) of the NPK nutrients excreted by the human body. Conversely, concentrations of heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium, commonly found in solid human waste, are much lower in urine (though not low enough to qualify for use in organic agriculture under current EU rules).[24] The more general limitations to using urine as fertilizer then depend mainly on the potential for buildup of excess nitrogen (due to the high ratio of that macronutrient),[22] and inorganic salts such as sodium chloride, which are also part of the wastes excreted by the renal system. The degree to which these factors impact the effectiveness depends on the term of use, salinity tolerance of the plant, soil composition, addition of other fertilizing compounds, and quantity of rainfall or other irrigation.

Urine typically contains 70% of the nitrogen and more than half the phosphorus and potassium found in urban waste water flows, while making up less than 1% of the overall volume. Thus far, source separation, or urine diversion and on-site treatment has been implemented in South Africa, China, and Sweden among other countries with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided some of the funding implemenations.[25] China reportedly had 685,000 operating source separation toilets spread out among 17 provinces in 2003.[26]

"Urine management" is a relatively new way to view closing the cycle of agricultural nutrient flows and reducing sewage treatment costs and ecological consequences such as eutrophication resulting from the influx of nutrient rich effluent into aquatic or marine ecosystems.[20] Proponents of urine as a natural source of agricultural fertilizer claim the risks to be negligible or acceptable. Their views seem to be backed by research showing there are more environmental problems when it is treated and disposed of compared with when it is used as a resource.[27]

It is unclear whether source separation, urine diversion, and on-site urine treatment can be made cost effective; nor whether required behavioral changes would be regarded as socially acceptable, as the largely successful trials performed in Sweden may not readily generalize to other industrialized societies.[23] In developing countries the use of whole raw sewage (night soil) has been common throughout history, yet the application of pure urine to crops is rare. Increasingly there are calls for urine's use as a fertilizer, such as a Scientific American article "Human urine is an effective fertilizer".

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.