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Urine in bioelectrochemical systems: An overall review

Santoro, Carlo; Garcia, Maria Jose Salar; Walter, Xavier Alexis; You, Jiseon; Theodosiou, Pavlina; Gajda, Iwona; Obata, Oluwatosin; Winfield, Jonathan; Greenman, John; Ieropoulos, Ioannis

Urine in bioelectrochemical systems: An overall review Thumbnail


Carlo Santoro

Maria Jose Salar Garcia

Jiseon You
Lecturer in Engineering/ Project Management

Pavlina Theodosiou

Iwona Serruys
Senior Lecturer in Engineering Management

Oluwatosin Obata

Yannis Ieropoulos
Professor in Bioenergy & Director of B-B


In recent years, human urine has been successfully used as an electrolyte and organic substrate in bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) mainly due of its unique properties. Urine contains organic compounds that can be utilised as a fuel for energy recovery in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and it has high nutrient concentrations including nitrogen and phosphorous that can be concentrated and recovered in microbial electrosynthesis cells and microbial concentration cells. Moreover, human urine has high solution conductivity, which reduces the ohmic losses of these systems, improving BES output. This review describes the most recent advances in BESs utilising urine. Properties of neat human urine used in state‐of‐the‐art MFCs are described from basic to pilot‐scale and real implementation. Utilisation of urine in other bioelectrochemical systems for nutrient recovery is also discussed including proofs of concept to scale up systems.


Santoro, C., Garcia, M. J. S., Walter, X. A., You, J., Theodosiou, P., Gajda, I., …Ieropoulos, I. (2020). Urine in bioelectrochemical systems: An overall review. ChemElectroChem, 7(6), 1312-1331.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 8, 2020
Online Publication Date Mar 6, 2020
Publication Date Mar 16, 2020
Deposit Date Jul 27, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jul 28, 2020
Journal ChemElectroChem
Electronic ISSN 2196-0216
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 6
Pages 1312-1331
Public URL


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