Håkan Jönsson and Prithvi Simha were very pleased to hear last week that the Kamprad Family Foundation decided to grant them #funding for a two-year project that will address issues with #precipitation of minerals in #sanitation systems that separately collect #urine. Together with Dyllon Randall (an August T Larsson Guest Researcher at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)), they will develop techniques for preventative maintenance/cleaning of toilets. They also plan to develop technologies that capture mineral precipitates at the toilet, thereby preventing their deposits along wastewater pipes. Much of the work in the project will be done in #collaboration with two housing associations in Stockholm, BRF Understenshöjden and BRF Gebers, where urine-separating toilets were installed more than 20 years ago!
Author: Prithvi Simha
Rich Earth Institute/Brightwater Tools visits SLU
Kim Nace and Ryan Homeyer of the Rich Earth Institute/Brightwater Tools visited Prithvi at SLU last month during their European tour of organizations that research and implement source-separation and nutrient recovery. They met over lunch and had discussions on a wide range of urine-related topics – how we collect urine, how we treat urine using our technologies (urine dehydration/SLU and freeze concentration/Rich Earth), our spin-off companies (Sanitation360 and Brightwater Tools), and how we operate in different contexts (Sweden versus the US; where regulations, funding and support are all different). But more importantly, the discussions really showed how similar our organisations are. For instance, our motivation with creating the spin-off companies are similar (to channel funding back to our research institutes rather than to make profit). It seems that organisations and people working with urine recycling could achieve more by joining hands and collaborating. So we really look forward to continuing the dialogue with the folks at Rich Earth Institute/Brightwater Tools.
Visit from CompoCloset founders to discuss urine treatment
The co-founders of CompoCloset, Erica Pugh and Richard Peter, visited SLU to discuss ways in which source-separated urine can be treated on-site. They have developed a composting toilet, Cuddy, that is specifically designed for vanlife that fits in small places like vans, tiny homes, cabins, and boats. They had nice discussions with Prithvi about ways in which SLU, Sanitation360 and CompoCloset could work together; e.g., by integrating SLU/S360’s urine dehydration technology with the Cuddy toilet.
The Cuddy toilet. PC: Erica Pugh
Jenna talks about urine on the Zuloo pōōdcast
Jenna Senecal was interviewed for the Zuloo pōōdcast. While they often talk about the number two, poop, they were eager to learn about how urine can be used as a fertilizer while also limiting our impact on the environment. Welcome to their pōōdcast where they bring insightful news, impact stories and quirky humor to the important topic of sanitation (or lack thereof). Listen to it here or on the youtube clip below –
New JTI-funded project on removing micropollutants from dried urine fertiliser
SLU has developed an innovative technology that converts human urine to high-quality solid fertiliser. On Gotland, we’ve also shown that urine can effectively fertilise barley, which can be processed further to produce beer. But there is concern about micropollutants that could be present in urine (e.g., pharmaceuticals). Through a three-year project and with funding from Stiftelsen Lantbruksforskning (Swedish farmers’ foundation for agricultural research), we aim to address this concern. First, we will do a baseline study to evaluate fate of micropollutants in the urine chain (fertiliser, barley & beer). Second, techniques will be developed to remove micropollutants so that only plant-essential nutrients are recycled back to farmland. Third, using social science methods and system dynamics modelling, support for recycling urine among food consumers will be assessed. Finally, all the evidence will be presented to stakeholders in the food industry.
Contact: Prithvi Simha
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.
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.