I början av 2019 designade och installerade vi ett pilotskalssystem för att torka färsk urin som samlats in från cirka 100 toalettanvändare varje dag (eller högst 30 liter urin day-1). Systemet implementerades på en finsk arméutbildningsplats (Camp Mauri) som tillhör Pori Brigade, som är garnison i Säkylä, Finland och användes under en period av tre månader mellan mars och maj 2019. I en ny publikation i tidskriften Frontiers in Environmental Science, we describe results of the evaluation of the technology. The publication can be openly accessed here:
My name is Priscila Lima and I have just started a postdoc within the Environmental Engineering group. I am originally from Brazil and I have lived in the US and in Denmark for some time. I am an Environmental Engineer that has been working with solid waste management systems ever since my bachelor’s thesis. Most recently, my PhD thesis was on Environmental Assessment of solid waste systems for Brazil and a case study in my Municipality in the west central region of the country, and I used Life Cycle Assessment for this. Before coming to Sweden I was performing research in my hometown, with a main focus on Life Cycle Assessment of different types of waste. Now, I have joined Jennifer at Kretsloppsteknik in a project to assess the sustainability aspects of waste systems, with main focus on nutrient recovery from these systems.
Claudia Cossio, a former PhD student affiliated with the group, has published an article regarding the development and application of an Excel-based tool to holistically evaluate the sustainability of existing wastewater treatment plants in low and middle income countries. Many small wastewater treatment systems (WWTSs) in low and lower-middle income countries face challenges to achieve optimal performance and acceptable levels of sustainability. In order to provide guidance for operation of these systems, Claudia and her colleagues developed a practical tool to diagnose the actual status of WWTSs and identify weak areas for further improvement.
In a bio-based circular economy, domestic wastewater has a significant role to play. By separating wastewater into different fractions at the source, it is possible to create new pathways for recycling resources. In a book chapter published in Current Developments in Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Simha et al. discuss about the most nutrient-rich wastewater fraction, human urine. We present a new, simple, yet potentially revolutionary nutrient recycling technology — alkaline urine dehydration. We then describe how this technology can be combined with urine-diverting toilets and integrated with existing sanitation infrastructure to create a service chain that safely collects, contains, transports, and applies urine as fertilizer. The potential benefits, risks, knowledge gaps, and challenges surrounding the implementation of a urine-diverting and dehydrating sanitation system are discussed. Finally, the prospect of creating smart toilets and digitizing the proposed sanitation system are explored. To read the full chapter, follow the link below:
The partnership between the Environmental Engineering Group at SLU and Dr. Ivã Guidini Lopes from the Aquaculture Center of Unesp (São Paulo, Brazil) resulted in a second publication, entitled “Reduction of bacteria in relation to feeding regimes when treating aquaculture waste in fly larvae composting”, recently published in Frontiers in Microbiology, as part of the research topic “Microbial dynamics during industrial rearing and processing of insects”.
Our group’s spinoff company, Sanitation360 AB, was recently declared the winner of the Skapapriset for Gotland, where the company is based. The jury on Gotland was of the opinion that the S360 team (Jenna, Björn and Prithvi) were very good representatives for Gotland. S360 now moves onto the final round, where we will compete with companies from all the Swedish counties.
The SKAPA Prize is Sweden’s largest innovation award, with the aim of providing support to inventors to develop their ideas. SKAPA is a foundation founded in memory of Alfred Nobel in 1985 and awarded its first prize in 1986. Behind the foundation stands the Stockholm Fair and the Swedish Inventors’ Association supported by Almi Företagspartner AB, VINNOVA, the Agne Johansson Foundation and the Patent and Registration Office. The prize is first awarded at the county level, where all county winners receive SEK 10,000, then nationally.
The group’s startup company, Sanitation360 AB, is taking part in the Create the Future Design Contest, which was first launched in 2002 by the publishers of Tech Briefs magazine to help stimulate and reward engineering innovation. Our entry which is called “Save the world by going to the bathroom!” puts forward our research and development of the urine drying concept, where the idea is to convert human urine into a dry, safe, nutrient-rich solid. The most popular entries will be decided by the voting of registered users of the contest web site. So help us by going to this website, where you can register as a user and vote for Sanitation360!
Our intern Chinmoy Deb from India, has successfully completed all his theory subjects at SLU for the Mater’s program “Soil, Water and Environment” in a duration of one year. In his theory subjects, he had worked with soil-water systems and Geochemical modelling. Chinmoy has opted for a “One-year Master Thesis” for the rest of the credits left. He was here last year for the completion of his Bachelor’s thesis on Urine Drying Technologies. This year, in continuation with his previous work, Chinmoy will be focusing on different methods and medias for urine drying. Primarily, he’ll be concentrating on reclamation of water from human urine.
To celebrate the successful PhD defence of Jenna Senecal, we combined it with the annual spring semester Brännboll game of PhDs vs the non-PhDs, a perfect activity for social distancing. The referees (aka the PhDs) are still counting the results due to some unclear activities regarding how to run after batting (not cutting corners) and how to normalize by age and education combined with the number of players. The non-PhDs felt that they won (as usual) but need to work and get their PhDs so they can go to the other side and be the ones who make the rules.