Abdullah Al-Saadi writing his thesis on fate of urine organics



My name is Abdullah Al-Saadi. I am originally from Iraq and I live in Finland. In Iraq, I have completed my bachelor degree in Chemical engineering. In Finland, I’m studying a Bachelor degree in Environmental engineering at the final stage. In SLU, I am doing my internship and Bachelor’s thesis project in urine treatment, which will focus on the fate of organic compounds in urine. I will work at SLU for the next 5 months.

Ali Mehaidli to work with fate of nitrogen during urine treatment


My name is Ali Mehaidli. Prior to my arrival here, I was living in Finland, studying Environmental Engineering at Tampere University of Applied Sciences. At SLU, I will be working with the urine treatment research group. My focus will be on the fate and stability of nitrogen during urine dehydration treatment. My internship and thesis project began in January, and I will be here till early June.

Startup-meeting of the new Horizone Europe project P2Green


Björn Vinnerås, Jenna Senecal and Jennifer McConville attended the startup-meeting in Hannover during the second week of January. Included in the project from SLU is also Prithvi Simha and two PhD students under employment. Our main work is within the “Swedish pilot region”, where we will focus on the upscaling of the urine dehydration process. Our focus is the first two work packages WP1 – Blue printing the regional clusters and WP2 – Monitoring and assessing the benefits. Jenna was presenting the Swedish pilot region with the full cycle of urine collection to food production. See more at the project home page https://p2green.eu/

Jenna Presenting the Swedish pilot region
Jenna Presenting the Swedish pilot region with the full cycle of fertiliser production from urine to the field and final food production.

Formas funding for in depth investigation of hygiene parameters in BSFL composting


We are very happy to announce that Formas has decided to fund our project Circular economy in feed production by fly larvae composting – risks of accumulation of persistent disease agents in the reuse chain. In this project we will dive back into the hygiene of the black soldier fly larvae composting process, investigating the fate persistent disease agents we have so far not been able to able to study, e.g. scrapie prions and spore-forming bacteria.

We will investigate what happens to disease agents in the BSFL composting process and verify whether they end up in the larvae, the frass or are destroyed/inactivated. We will also try to establish if the known inactivation of selected disease agents (e.g. Salmonella spp.) happens in the passage through the larvae or is due to excretion of antimicrobial peptides. Finally, we will wrap up all collected knowledge in a quantitative risk assessment, in which we focus in particular at the risk of prions. The lack of knowledge to what happens to prions in this process we believe is one major reason that hinders the use of post-consumer food waste as feed substrate to insects.

To increase our joy even more, we were also granted another Formas project, in collaboration with Ecoloop, RagnSells, Tebrito, Johannas stadsodlingar. The aim of the project is to link the lab scale knowledge of the hygiene in insect processing to larger scale settings. We will develop quality control measures and implemented them at commercial facilities in proof-of-concept studies. In addition, the use of a block-chain based digital traceability system in a circular food production chain in which food waste is used as insect substrate will be investigated and a conceptual model designed. Discussions with authorities and certification organs will be maintained throughout the project. Hopefully these two projects can be part of a process in which the regulation on substrates for insects to include real waste substrates and not only food industry waste streams that are currently allowed. Many insect researchers are in agreement: for insects to have a real and sustainable impact on our food systems, they have to be reared on real waste substrates (see excellent comment on the Principles for the responsible use of farmed insects as livestock feed in nature food by Parodi et al (2022)).


Formas funding for new urine project RECAPTURE


We have exciting news! The Swedish Research Council FORMAS has granted funding for our project called RECAPTURE: Circular Economy Certification and Production of Urine Fertiliser. RECAPTURE is a collaboration between #SLU#Sanitation360#Ecoloop and #RISE, and has 3 short-term goals: 1) optimization of fertiliser formation to work with conventional farming equipment; 2) review the applicability of SPCR178 certification for urine and other emerging products; 3) conceptual idea of a tag-on to fertiliser certifications to include environmental aspects.

Jade Borel to intern with the SLU urine drying team


My name is Jade Borel and I come from France, Grenoble. I am in the third year of environmental engineering school in Rennes. At SLU, I am part of the urine drying research team. I will work with urease enzyme and analyse how urine salts affect  enzymatic activity. My intership started early November and I will be staying until the end of January.

Liudmila Nazarova working with fate of biodegradable polymers in wastewater


My name is Liudmila Nazarova and I am coming from Russia, Saint-Petersburg. I am a fourth-year Environmental Engineering student at Tampere University of Applied Science (Finland). I am part of the Kretsloppsteknik research team at SLU. I am working on the fate and chemical degradation of biodegradable polymers in wastewater at different process conditions. I will be working in the group from September until the end of November.

We find there is potential to convert food industry waste to animal protein in Tanzania


In our latest publication Food industry waste – An opportunity for black soldier fly larvae protein production in Tanzania recently published in Science of the Total Environment, we have investigated the potential of food industry waste as substrate for rearing of black soldier fly larvae (BSFL). We first conducted a survey, in which we assessed occurrence of wastes in different food industries in three large cities in Tanzania: Dar-es Salaam, Mwanza and Dodoma. We asked the companies a number of questions related to their current waste management system. Once we had an idea which waste streams that was available, we performed a multi-criteria assessment of the most suitable waste streams for BSFL rearing, taking into both availability (available quantities and potential competing use etcetera) and the physical characteristics of the waste. If you are curious to know which food industries there are, what waste they generate, what they currently do with their waste and which of these waste streams that could be used for BSFL rearing, read our article.