The NEXCITIES Project News

New publication in Sustainability

The NexCities research team is excited to announce a new publication entitled “Resource-Oriented Sanitation: On-Farm Septage Treatment and Nutrient Recycling for Sustainable Agriculture in the Philippines” in the prestigious journal Sustainability.

The publication can be accessed through the following links:



Nutrient recovery technologies have been constantly developed and optimised to address challenges in water and wastewater management, sanitation, and agri-food systems, while promoting sustainable management of resources and circular phosphorous economy. However, these technologies have been rarely explored beyond the laboratory-scale in developing countries where it is mostly needed. In this study, a nutrient recovery batch reactor system was installed at a local farm in the Philippines to process raw septage from an onsite sanitation system, a septic tank, to recover a high-value fertiliser for local crop production. The batch reactor was used for two processes, namely acid hydrolysis for pre-treatment of septage and chemical precipitation for recovered phosphorous fertiliser (RPF). The recovered fertiliser was then applied to produce eggplants and tomatoes, which are the common crops grown in the farm. Results show that an average of 290 g of RPF was produced for every 100 L of raw septage processed. With hydrolysis, 77% of the phosphate concentration were released as phosphates from the solid component of the raw septage. About 98.5% of phosphates were recovered from the hydrolysed septage. The RPF when applied to the farm’s eggplants and tomatoes has yields comparable to that of the commercial fertilisers. This study was able to demonstrate the potential of a resource-oriented sanitation system that promotes nutrient recycling towards sustainable agriculture that further leads to meeting the United Nations sustainable development goals, particularly zero hunger (goal 2), clean water and sanitation (goal 6), sustainable cities and communities (goal 11), and responsible consumption and production (goal 12).

Converting wastewater into nutrient-rich fertilizer for a better city of the future