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Prithvi Simha

Prithvi Simha
My research focuses on the safe recycling and valorisation of resources present in wastewater. Currently, I am developing a technology - alkaline urine dehydration - that converts human urine into a dry, hygienic, and high-quality solid fertiliser. If implemented globally, it could recycle 31 Tg of Nitrogen and 2.8 Tg of Phosphorus annually. My research has a socio-technical systems perspective and I like to perform studies that help identify drivers and barriers to new sanitation practices and behaviours.


Current:                                                                                                                             Urintorkning processoptimering och underliggande processer/FORMAS                           UDT 2.0 - Urine Dehydration Technology for Sanitation 2.0/VR                                  REWAISE - Resilient Water Innovation Economy/EUH2020                                            Växtnäringskretslopp till uthållig ölproduktion /Stiftelsen Lantbruksforskning

Past:                                                                                                                                  Productive On-site Sanitation System - New Value Chain for Urine Based Fertilizer
MORTTI - Mobile nutrient recovery in field conditions


Erasmus Mundus M.Sc. Environmental Sciences, Policy, & Management (MESPOM): University of ManchesterLund UniversityCentral European University, University of Aegean.

B. Tech. Chemical Process Engineering at VIT University, India.                                        Indus–Magic scholar at National Chemical Laboratory, CSIR India.                                  Summer Research Fellow at Institute of Chemical Technology, India.

Selected publications

Popular Science

Simha, P., Buckley, C., Senecal, J. (2020) We developed a simple process to recycle urine. Here’s how it’s done. The Conversation Africa. 

Simha, P., Vinnerås, B., Senecal J. (2020) We found a way to turn urine into solid fertiliser – it could make farming more sustainable. The Conversation UK. 


Simha, P., Alkaline Urine Dehydration: How to dry source-separated human urine and recover nutrients? Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880. 

Peer-reviewed journals

Vasiljev, A., Simha, P., Demisse, N., Karlsson, C., Randall, D. G., & Vinnerås, B. (2021). Drying fresh human urine in magnesium-doped alkaline substrates: Capture of free ammonia, inhibition of enzymatic urea hydrolysis & minimisation of chemical urea hydrolysis. Chemical Engineering Journal, 428, 131026.

Simha, P., Barton, M.A., Perez-Mercado, L.F., et al. (2021). Willingness among food consumers to recycle human urine as crop fertiliser: Evidence from a multinational survey. Science of The Total Environment, 765, 144438.

Guo, S., Zhou, X., Simha, P., Mercado, L. F. P., Lv, Y., & Li, Z. (2021). Poor awareness and attitudes to sanitation servicing can impede China's Rural Toilet Revolution: Evidence from Western China. Science of the Total Environment, 794, 148660.

Simha, P., Friedrich, C., Randall, D. G., Vinnerås, B. (2020). Alkaline dehydration of human urine collected in source-separated sanitation systems using Magnesium Oxide. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 8, 619901. 

Simha, P., Lalander, C., Nordin, A., & Vinnerås, B., 2020. Alkaline dehydration of source-separated fresh human urine: Preliminary insights into using different dehydration temperature and media. Science of The Total Environment, 733, 139313.

Simha, P., Karlsson, C., Viskari, E-L., Malila, R., and Vinnerås, B. (2020) Field testing a pilot-scale system for alkaline dehydration of source-separated human urine: a case study in Finland. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 8, 570637. 

Simha, P., Senecal, J., Gustavsson, D. J., & Vinnerås, B. (2020). Resource recovery from wastewater: a new approach with alkaline dehydration of urine at source. In Current Developments in Biotechnology and Bioengineering (pp. 205-221). Elsevier.

Simha, P., Lalander, C., Ramanathan, A., Vijayalakshmi, C., McConville, J. R., Vinnerås, B., Ganesapillai, M., 2018. What do consumers think about recycling human urine as  fertiliser? Perceptions and attitudes of a university community in South India. Water Research 143, 527-538.

Simha, P., Senecal, J., Nordin, A., Lalander, C., Vinnerås, B., 2018. Alkaline dehydration of anion–exchanged human urine: Volume reduction, nutrient recovery and process optimisationWater Research 142, 325-336.

Senecal, J., Nordin, A., Simha, P., Vinnerås, B., 2018. Hygiene aspect of treating human urine by alkaline dehydrationWater Research, 144, 474-481.

Simha, P., Lalander, C., Vinnerås, B., Ganesapillai, M., 2017. Farmer attitudes and perceptions to the re–use of fertiliser products from resource–oriented sanitation systems–The case of Vellore, South IndiaScience of The Total Environment, 581-582, 885–896.

Simha, P., Zabaniotou, A., Ganesapillai, M., 2018. Continuous urea–nitrogen recycling from human urine: a step towards creating a human excreta based bio–economy. Journal of Cleaner Production, 172, 4152-4161.

Simha, P., Mutiara, Z. Z., Gaganis, P., 2017. Vulnerability assessment of water resources and adaptive management approach for Lesvos Island, GreeceSustainable Water Resources Management, 3(3), 283–295.

Simha, P., Yadav, A., Pinjari, D., Pandit, A. B., 2016. On the behaviour, mechanistic modelling and interaction of biochar and crop fertilizers in aqueous solutionsResource-Efficient Technologies, 2(3), 133-142.

Simha, P., Mathew, M., Ganesapillai, M., 2016. Empirical modeling of drying kinetics and microwave assisted extraction of bioactive compounds from Adathoda vasica and Cymbopogon citratusAlexandria Engineering Journal, 55(1), 141-150.

Pillai, M. G., Simha, P., Gugalia, A., 2014. Recovering urea from human urine by bio-sorption onto microwave activated carbonized coconut shells: equilibrium, kinetics, optimization and field studies. Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 2(1), 46-55.


Steering Committee, Research School Focus on Soil and Water
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Postdoctor at the Department of Energy and Technology; Environmental Engineering Unit
Postal address:
Inst för energi och teknik, Box 7032
Visiting address: Lennart Hjelms väg 9, Uppsala