Innovation from IIT Palakkad turns Urine into Energy and Bio-fertilizer

Sun, 11th Feb, 2024 - 06:45 pm

In response to the escalating global energy demand, a group of researchers led by Dr. Praveena Gangadharan, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT-Palakkad, has devised a revolutionary solution—utilizing urine to generate renewable energy and produce biofertilizer simultaneously. The team,including Ms.Sangeetha V, Research Scholar, Dr. Sreejith PM, Project Scientist, and Ms. Rinu Anna Koshy, Research Associate, Department of Civil Engineering, harnessed the ionic strength of urine and induced electrochemical reactions to create electricity and nutrient-rich biofertilizer.

The urine-fed, self-driven stacked electrochemical resource recovery reactor integrates an electrochemical reactor, ammonia adsorption column, decolorization, and chlorination chamber, along with plumbing and electrical manifolds. This system offers a dual benefit of power generation for recharging smartphones & lamps and sustainable agriculture. Currently at a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 4, the technology has undergone successful laboratory validation, paving the way for widespread implementation. Their research, "Stale urine catalyzed resource recovery," published in "Separation and Purification Technology," has garnered significant attention.