The fate of nitrogen in the urban area – The case of Zielona Góra, Poland

Suchowska-Kisielewicz, M., Greinert, A., Winiwarter, W. ORCID:, Kaltenegger, K. ORCID:, Jędrczak, A., Myszograj, S., Płuciennik-Koropczuk, E., Skiba, M., et al. (2024). The fate of nitrogen in the urban area – The case of Zielona Góra, Poland. Science of the Total Environment 915 e169930. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.169930.

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The anthropogenic change of the nitrogen (N) cycle is strongly triggered by urban demand (such as food and meat consumption, energy demand and transport). As a consequence of high population density, impacts on human health through water and air pollution also concentrate on a city environment. Thus, an urban perspective on a predominantly rural pollution becomes relevant. Urban N budgets may be considered less intrinsically connected, so that separation of an agri-food chain and an industry-combustion chain is warranted. Results have been obtained for Zielona Góra, Poland, a city of 140,000 inhabitants characterized by domestic and transport sources and forest-dominated surroundings. In addition to food imports in Zielona Gora amounting to about 30 %, in the suburban area a significant share of N amounting to 41 % is related to fertilizer imports. The remaining imports are in fuel, electronics, textiles, plastics and paper. Most of the agri-food N (45 %) is denitrified in wastewater treatment. N associated with combustion (mainly NOx emissions from vehicles) represents a much smaller share than N entering via the agri-food system, amounting to 22 % of the total N imports. This overall picture is maintained also when specifically addressing the city center, with the exception of mineral fertilizer that plays a much smaller role, with just 7 % of N imports to the city.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Air pollution; Circularity; Environment; Nitrogen; Nitrogen recovery from waste; Nitrogen recovery from wastewater; Urban; Water pollution
Research Programs: Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Pollution Management (PM)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2024 13:00
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2024 12:55

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