Category Archives: English

Thank you Porin Prikaati: wrapping up the urine drying pilot in Säkylä

The three month long urine drying pilot installation at the Pori Birgade in Säkylä, Finland was dismantled last week, bringing to an end the first field demonstration of our technology. As you’ll recall from our previous blogs, we integrated a urine dehydration module with capacity of treating 40 L urine/day/m2 into an existing, mobile dry sanitation system – the Biomaja toilet. During this pilot, we have been collecting samples of the end-product/fertiliser (see picture below), monitoring various physico-chemical properties as well as energy consumption of the treatment module. Over the coming months, we will be analysing the collected samples, along with our partners in Finland. While the module received less urine than its design capacity, it functioned smoothly throughout the pilot period.

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New project piloting urine drying in Finland

Following the successful wrap up of the MORTTI-project that piloted the group’s urine drying technology in field conditions for the first time, we are back in Finland once again this week. This time around, we will be constructing, installing, and integrating a urine dehydrator with – a dry urinal and a urine-diverting flush toilet. The system is scheduled to be installed at the Lielahti Manor in the Hiedanranta neighbourhood of the city of Tampere, and is designed to treat nearly 25 L of fresh urine/day for a period of 3 months. The project is being carried out by our group and Sanitation360, the group’s university-based startup company working with urine dehydration. Our partners in this project include the City of Tampere, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, and the Finnish Environment Institute. More updates to follow!

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Recent studies highlight the importance of leadership and vision

Two recent studies from the group have pointed at the importance of good leadership and common visions for successfully implementation of new water and wastewater systems.

A theory-building case-study of community-based water and wastewater systems in Cochabamba, Bolivia identified four prerequisites for success: leadership, agreed vision, collective action and management. The study builds a framework of prerequisites and enabling factors that may be used by policy makers and development practitioners to strengthen community management and support community-based organisations in providing water and sanitation services.

Importance of internal factors for community-managed water and wastewater systems in Cochabamba, Bolivia

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The FAT larva – a future feed for animals?

In the last week of May, SLU was arranging the “Thesis Day”-event for the second year in a row. This was an opportunity for bachelor’s and master’s students to present their degree projects in the form of scientific posters. Six students were also chosen to arrange oral presentations of their projects. Nils Ewald was one of these students. As you might remember, Nils finished his master’s thesis about the fatty acid composition of the black soldier fly larvae earlier this spring.

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Half-time PhD Seminar, Prithvi Simha: Alkaline urine dehydration

On 26th April, PhD Candidate Prithvi Simha presented his half-time seminar, “Urine Dehydration Technology for Decentralised Sanitation Systems” at SLU. In the seminar, Prithvi summarised and discussed two research papers & a draft book chapter on urine dehydration. Åke Nordberg, Assoc. Prof. in Bioenergy Technology was the opponent at the seminar.

Urine drying from Sanitation360:Semi-finalists at the FAMAE Water Challenge

This year, members of the Kretsloppsteknik group at SLU started Sanitation360, a startup company which aims to commercialise the urine dehydration technology being developed at SLU. As Sanitation360, we participated in the FAMAE Water Challenge (“Precious Water!”) where the goal was to design a simple and innovative product or service to preserve water, make it cleaner & accessible to everyone. Sanitation360’s innovative urine dehydrating toilet was selected amongst the Semi-finalists of the competition, finishing among the TOP 100 of more than 3,000 candidates from 120 countries. According to the Jury, our “disruptive phosphorous-capture toilet convinced the team and the Jury”.

FAMAE is an independent family foundation that supports innovation in the field of environnement. The foundation organizes every year an International Challenge to help inventors to create simple and innovative solutions that can substantially improve our daily lives, while significantly alleviating environmental footprints.

1-2 tons food waste treated by BSF composting in Eskilstuna

In the past 2 years, the environmental engineering group has been collaborating with the waste management company of Eskilstuna in order to treat food waste with black soldier fly larvae. This technology, developed within the group over the past 10 years, aims to recover the nutrients present in organic waste streams and reintroduce them into the food chain by producing feed for livestock. With this collaboration, a pilot plant was set up with the goal of treating 1 ton of food waste per day. After having successfully achieved a stable production of 1 million young larvae per day in the fly colony at SLU, the next step was to treat 1 ton of food waste with the larvae at the pilot plant. Not only did we managed to treat 1 ton of food waste per day but recently managed to double the treated food waste reaching 2 tons per day. Right now, we are back in the lab to analyse the results.

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Game for Resource Recovery tested in Uganda

On the 25th of April, the SPANS team held a workshop on serious gaming “Games for Resource Recovery in Sanitation” at Makerere University, Uganda. We presented the serious game that we have been developing within the SPANS project – Sanitation Planning for Alternative Nutrient-Recovery Systems (see Blogg post 201-12-05). The aim of the workshop was to present a serious game for increasing understanding of resource recovery from sanitation systems. Serious gaming is a tool for engagement and planning to inform sanitation decision making. Participants were provided with background information about serious gaming and then played a prototype of the game. Workshop participants included representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Water, National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Kampala Capital City Authorities, local consultants and staff from local universities. Reflections and discussion after the workshop have provided feedback for further development of the game. The game was well received and several stakeholders invited us back to test the finalized game within actual planning processes.

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Agricultural field trials on dehydrated urine – “Granurin”

Between December 2018 and February 2019, we installed and used eight family-scale urine dehydrator prototypes in Uppsala. At the end of this period, we managed to produce 40 kg of dry fertiliser (which our collegues in France call “granurin”) with a nitrogen content of 10%. We thus managed to dry nearly 500 L of urine, which is what an average person urinates in a year. This fertiliser is now being applied and tested as part of the AGROCAPI project, where the intent is to ‘study the agronomic valorization of products resulting from urine source separation’. The trials are being carried out in France by Tristan Martin and colleagues at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA).

Cllick to read more about the AGROCAPI project

Makoto joins Kretsloppsteknik

Hi, I’m Makoto from Japan. I will work on the analysis of perfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) and pharmaceuticals in wastewater with Sahar Dalahmeh at SLU’s Kretsloppsteknik group. Since I have been interested in sanitation research right from my Environmental Engineering bachelor studies in Japan, I am grateful for this opportunity to continue to learn and work at SLU.