Waste or Gold? Bioelectrochemical Resource Recovery in Source-Separated Urine

Safoora Nazari, Ali A. Zinatizadeh*, Mahsa Mirghorayshi, Mark C.M. van Loosdrecht

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, source-separated human urine has been highlighted as an effective resource for energy and nutrient recovery. However, even though several technologies exist for resource recovery, they have not been widely implemented. Among these technologies, bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) hold promise as technically and economically interesting alternatives for sustainable resource recovery from source-separated urine. Here, we review the resource recovery performance of BESs, including microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and microbial electrolysis cells (MECs), fed with source-separated urine over the past decade, and suggest an effective path forward toward their widespread implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)990-1006
Number of pages17
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • bioelectrochemical resource recovery
  • microbial electrolysis cells
  • microbial fuel cells
  • source-separated urine


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