Find us by looking for a toilet – leave as a proud P Donor

Today’s agriculture depends on industrial fertilizers containing P, Phosphorus. This non-renewable is currently still obtained from mined Phosphate Rock which is depleting quickly. To secure our future food supplies we need to start to recover P now.

The P-BANK is a public toilet that aims to close the P-cycle. The sanitation system separates Pee from the waste water which simplifies nutrient recovery. This happens directly in the P-BANK. The recovered P is re-used as fertilizer in the P-BANK garden.  


In the donor rooms you can comfortably donate in a no-mix toilet or a waterless urinal.


While washing hands, you can peek into the recovery lab. A process of chemical reactions recovers P from Pee safely and hygienically.


Leaving the P-Bank you’ll discover that the recovered P can be successfully reused as an alternative for mined Phosphorus.


A chemical element with the symbol P. Phosphorus is essential for all living organism to grow. We get our phosphorus from the food we eat. Plants in turn, extract P from the soil. 

As fertilizer!
Around the ’60 we started using industrial fertilizers to increase food production. Today’s agriculture still depends on these extra nutrients. P used in industrial fertilizer originates from phosphate rock. This resource is not only depleting, it can only be found in a few places around the world, with the Western Sahara taking the lead by owning over 70% of the words remaining Phosphate Rock. [USGS 2015].

As Phosphate rock is depleting, closing the P-Cycle is good for 2 things:
1 To guarantee food security in the future, P is non-renewable and depleting.
2 To prevent geopolitical tensions. You do not want the entire population depending on only a few places that hold reserves.   

By closing the P-cycle!
Luckily P does not break, nor do we store it in our bodies. After dinner we Pee most of it out. Currently most of these nutrients end up in a landfill and open waters through conventional sanitation. Not only is it almost impossible to recover P there. These ‘dumped’ nutrients unbalance ecosystems with all its consequences.
The system in the P-Bank first separates Pee from the main stream. This separation process happens directly in the toilet safe! by our sponsor Laufen. In this toilet safe! the Pee automatically flows into a second outlet. Besides the toilets, the P-Bank also receives donations via the waterless urinal. This urinal is not flushed with water. A simple membrane seal prevents odours.
Secondly the P will be recovered from the collected Pee in the recovery Lab of the P-BANK. Here different processes can be used. So far we have recovered nutrients using two, a Stripping Process and an Evaporation process. These processes are low-tech and only require very common and accessible materials.
There also exists other sustainable systems and sanitation products that enable nutrient recovery. For efficient recovery it is important that sanitation systems are tailored per case to the use, location and local needs. Often this results in a more decentralized system then the conventional one. 

 For more information about the system in the P-Bank download our documentations or contact us.  

Actually no. The P-BANK also recovers other valuable nutrients from Pee, for fertilizer products. Like Nitrogen (N) and Potassium (K).  

Only 1% of domestic wastewaters is urine. But more than 50% of the P found in wastewaters comes from urine. Besides nutrients other substances leave the body through Pee, like harmful hormones and drug residue, which when flushed in a conventional sewage system, often still end up in landfill or even natural waters.  

Contact us to see if the P-Bank can come to your event or if we can cooperate in another way.  


In 2018 the Bauhaus University Weimar and WERKHAUS destinature received funding from the German Federal Environment Foundation (DBU) to develop the first P-BANK. The concept was developed by Anniek Vetter and Sylvia Debit during a semester project at the Bauhaus University Weimar led by Prof. Jörg Londong back in to 2013.
The P-BANK was first used for several months during the 100th anniversary year of Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany 2019. Later that year the P-BANK was at the Tiny Living Festival. The project was presented at the Antenna platform during the Dutch Design Week 2019. 
WERKHAUS destinature built the mobile P-Bank from sustainable materials, based on the service and communication designed by Debit and Vetter, including donor-rooms containing the toilet safe! sponsored by Laufen. The recovering system is developed by the B.is, the department of urban water management and sanitation of the Bauhaus University Weimar led by Prof. Jörg Londong, with the support of Vuna and Eawag. Besides consulting Goldeimer supports getting the story and the out there! 

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Salzwedeler Str. 13
D -29439 Lüchow


Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

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