International Journal of
Water Resources and Environmental Engineering

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Water Res. Environ. Eng.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6613
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJWREE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 342

Article in Press

Lactic acid from food waste enhances pathogen inactivation and urea stabilization in human urine


  •  Received: 13 September 2021
  •  Accepted: 13 September 2021
In areas where conventional sewer systems are not possible, innovative and low-cost methods are needed to get rid of pathogens in human urine. Treatment through acidification is a reliable method. In this study, the effect of fresh cabbage waste, potato peel, and teff flour water as substrate for lactic acid treatment of source-separated urine was investigated. Laboratory scale batch experiments were conducted to compare the substrates for pH ? 4 and high distribution of lactic acid bacteria (LAB), important for urine hygienization and urea stabilization. It was found that with the addition of 10% molasses as a sugar supplement, fermentation of fresh cabbage waste could establish the desired effect for lactic acid treatment of source-separated urine. The final pH in the urine mixed with lactic acid in the ratio of 1:1 and 1:2 (lactic acid: urine) was 4.12 and 4.26, respectively. While the final pH in the 1:4 and control reactors was 8.3 and 9.2, respectively. E.coli count was below the detection limit in both 1:1 and 1:2 reactors after 5 days, whereas the number of E.coli in the samples collected from 1:4 and control reactors showed only slight reduction until the final day of the treatment process. Urea decomposition improved in 1:1 and 1:2 reactors, while it kept increasing in 1:4 and control reactors. The results revealed that food waste produced lactic acid enhances pathogen inactivation, urea stabilization and reduce odors in human urine.