Human pee, the key to better compost

People have been using manure as fertilizer for millennia. But scientists now believe they can turn human urine into liquid gold—as composting material. The premise is simple: Pee is rich in nitrogen, which plants desperately need. Commercial fertilizers boost plant growth and yield by providing abundant nitrogen to the plant’s roots.

Scientist grew sweet peppers (Capsicum annum) in soil that had various combinations of human urine. The plants grown in soil that had a combination of human urine and compost grew the tallest, yielded the most peppers, and had the most total fruit weight per plant.

The scientists say the pee was so effective because of several factors working together. For instance, the mix of compost and urine decreased the amount of nitrogen lost in the soil while making more carbon available to the plants.

Source: newswatch.nationalgeographic.comAdded: 23 April 2013