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.

New Vetenskapsrådet funding for urine drying in Bolivia


We’re happy to share that the #Bolivia project on #urinedrying that we started in 2018 will continue for another four years through new funding from Vetenskapsrådet / Swedish Research Council. In the project, we will be developing novel chemical pellets that can capture all the nutrients in urine, while removing organics pollutants and malodour-causing substances. The pellets will be evaluated against real-life aspects and natural contaminants before they are field-tested in urban settings in Bolivia. Project partners in Boliva include Luis Fernando Perez Mercado and Mercedes Iriarte from Centro de Aguas y Saneamiento Ambiental  at the University of San Simon in Cochabamba.



Knowledge evolution within human urine recycling technological innovation system (TIS): Focus on technologies for recovering plant-essential nutrients


”Knowledge development and diffusion” is a key function in developing technological innovation systems (TIS), especially early in the formative phase. If you are interested in knowing whether the current knowledge base on nutrient recovery technologies is sufficient to further develop urine recycling TISs, then this paper is for you:

We ( Robin Harder, Prithvi Simha, Bjorn Vinneras, Jennifer McConville and myself) conducted a bibliometric analysis and comprehensive mapping of existing urine recycling knowledge and used a novel multi-criteria framework to evaluate whether the development of such a TIS is feasible. Results showed that the rate of publications and knowledge diffusion increased sharply in 2011–2021 compared to 1990–2010. However, the function still has insufficiency in some criteria. … paper is attached.
Happy reading!

New Horizon Europe Project “P2Green” will pilot urine dehydration technology in Gotland!


A consortium of 32 partner organisations from 12 European countries and Switzerland including SLU and Sanitation360 have justed signed the Grant Agreement for a four-year Horizon Europe Project aiming to “close the gap between fork and farm for circular nutrient flows” short P2GreeN. From our group in Sweden, Jenna Senecal, Prithvi Simha, Jennifer McConville, and Björn Vinnerås will participate in the project. The project will start on the first of December 2022, and is coordinated by agrathaer GmbH and Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ) e.V.

P2GreeN’s overall objective is to foster a circular material flow system between urban and rural areas thereby restoring the coupling of the water-agri-food system following the 3R principle “Reduce, Reuse, Recover”. To achieve this, P2GreeN will develop new solutions for the circular economy to halt and eliminate nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) pollution by connecting blue urban with green rural infrastructure, focussing on circular nutrient flows of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), two important plant nutrients and at the same time water polluters. This objective will be achieved through the implementation and exploration of innovative N and P recovery solutions for the utilization of human sanitary waste from urban settlements and its conversion into safe bio-based fertilizers for agricultural production in three pilot regions.