All posts by Prithvi Simha

SLU to have its own urine-diverting toilet!

Following a successfull application to the SLU Climate Fund, we plan to replace a conventional toilet at SLU’s MVM building with a urine-diverting flush toilet during the spring. Urine-diverting toilets handle urine and faeces separately – the toilet leads the urine to a separate collection system while faeces are flushed with water, just like a conventional toilet. The proposed installation will highlight 20+ years of Swedish research on the topic, act as an educational/research platform, and practically support building a climate-smart SLU campus.

The toilet will be designed by EOOS GmbH and there are plans make use of the group’s dehydration technology that converts urine into a dry, hygienic, nutrient-rich powder. The project also links our ongoing urine research with SLU Holding (commercialisation), Sweden Water Research (plans to install urine-diverting toilets in Skåne), and Ultuna Täppförening (for applying dried urine-based fertiliser in community gardens in Uppsala). 

Contact: Björn Vinnerås

Special Issue “Biochar for the Environmental Wastewater Treatment”

Sahar Dalahmeh, Researcher at our group along with Manfred Lübken is co-editing a special issue in the journal, Applied Sciences published by MDPI. The special issue focuses on “Biochar for the Environmental Wastewater Treatment”. Paper submissions are invited along the following lines:

Filtration systems are, in general, characterized as low cost, easy to operate and they have a low space requirement. Filter material should have, e.g., a large specific surface area, low bulk densities and should be locally available where wastewater treatment is to be  installed. Recently, biochar has been demonstrated to be effective in the removal of organic and inorganic constituents, heavy metals or microorganisms from contaminated water. Compared to many other filter materials, biochar has the advantage that it can be produced from locally available biomass and can be used as a soil amendment after wastewater treatment. The aim of this Special Issue is to discuss both the potential and limits of biochar as a filter material for wastewater treatment. 

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Ex-jobb som utvärderar en urintorkningspilot i fält i Finland

Jag heter Caroline Karlsson och jag går sista året på civilingenjörsprogrammet i miljö- och vattenteknik vid Uppsala Universitet och SLU. Under vårterminen 2019 kommer jag att göra mitt examensarbete vid Institutionen för Energi och Teknik på SLU. Examensarbetet utförs som en teknisk utvärdering av ett pilotprojekt för urintorkning i Tammerfors, Finland. Jag kommer delta i byggnation, simulering och montering av systemet för urintorkningen. Under våren kommer jag även att provta och utföra analyser av urinen med avseende på näringsämnena kväve, fosfor och kalium. Målet är att utvärdera systemet med hänsyn till erhållna halter av näringsämnena samt utifrån dess funktion med avseende på kapacitet och energiförbrukning.

Kontakt: Björn Vinnerås

MSc Project on piloting urine drying in Finland

My name is Caroline Karlsson and I am a Masters student in Environmental and Water Engineering at Uppsala University and SLU. From now until June 2019, l will work on my Master Thesis project at the Department of Energy and Technology at SLU. The project is a technical evaluation of a pilot project concerning urine drying in Tampere, Finland. I will take part in the construction and installation of the urine drying units and while the system is running I will take samples and perform analyses, such as determining the concentrations of potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen in the dried urine. I will also evaluate how well the system is functioning on site, in terms of capacity and energy consumption.

Contact: Björn Vinnerås

Besök från SIDA och SEI för diskussion kring sanitet i katastrofer

Den 17 januari kom Olle Castell, Caroline Gårdestedt och Malin Denninger från Svenska Röda Korset, och Axel Wurtz och Jairo Mosquera från Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), på besök till Cecilia Lalander och Annika Nordin i kretsloppsteknikgruppen. Det diskuterades olika möjliga tekniker för hantering av exkrement vid katastrofsituationer, främst fluglarvskompostering och termofil våtkompostering (thermophilic aerobic digestion, TAD) avhandlades då Cecilia och Annika besitter expertkunskap om dessa behandlingar. Det hanns även med ett besök till fluganläggningen. Olle Castell och Malin Denninger uppdaterade Cecilia på rådande situation i flyktinglägren i Cox’s Bazar i Bangladesh. Cecilia tillbringade i januari 2018 en månad i lägren med Svenska Röda Korset för att på plats utvärdera möjliga behandlingsalternativ. Till vår glädje fortsätter samarbetet mellan Svenska Röda Korset och kretsloppsteknikgruppen.

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SIDA and SEI visited us to discuss emergency sanitation

On the 17th of January, Olle Castell, Caroline Gårdestedt och Malin Denninger from the Swedish Red Cross, and Axel Wurtz and Jairo Mosquera from Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) came to visit Cecilia Lalander and Annika Nordin from the Environmental Engineering group. Several possible treatment technologies for the treatment of faecal sludge in emergency settings were discussed. Fly larvae composting and thermophilic aerobic digestion (TAD) were discussed in detail, as these are treatments that Cecilia and Annika have expert knowledge in. There was also time for a visit to the fly facility. Olle Castell and Malin Denninger updated Cecilia on the current situation in the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. In early 2018, Cecilia spent one month in the camps with the Swedish Red Cross with the mission to evaluated possible treatment methods for the treatment of faecal sludge in the camps. We are pleased that the collaboration between the Swedish Red Cross and the Environmental Engineering group continues.

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New Publication on removal of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in onsite wastewater treatment

In this study, we investigated the potential of biochar filters as a replacement or complement for sand filters for removal of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances from wastewater in onsite sewage facilities. In a 22-weeks experiment, concentrations, removal and adsorption of nine perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs; C3- 11) and three perfluoroalkane sulfonates (PFSAs; C4, 6, 8) and one perfluorooctanesulfonamide (FOSA; C8) were investigated in four treatments: biochar with active, biochar with inactive biofilm, biochar without biofilm and sand with active biofilm. We found that biochar with no biofilm achieved higher removal efficiency (90-99%) and the adsorption capacity (73 -168 ng g-1 ) for C7-C11 PFCAs, C6, C8 PFSAs and FOSA, than the other biochar and sand treatments. For all biochar treatments, shorter-chain PFASs were more resistant to removal than longer-chain PFASs.

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Two new interns for the urine drying project

The latest additions to Kretsloppsteknik are two interns, Chinmoy Deb and Anooj Ramanathan, coming all the way from India to work on urine drying for their bachelor’s thesis. During their bachelors program, both Chinmoy and Anooj have been doing research on sanitation, working with nutrient recovery as well as removal of pharmaceutical residues from human urine. A keen interest in sanitation and hygiene technologies brings them to our group at SLU for a 3-months long internship that began in December. Over the course of the internship, they will be involved in ongoing projects related to process modelling, intensification, and optimization.

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Water & Wastewater Speciality in the Journal Frontiers in Environmental Science

A new section about water and wastewater has been launched as a speciality section in the journal, Frontiers in Environmental Science. Björn Vinnerås together with the co-chief editor, Prof. Paolo Perona and the members of the editorial board welcome contributions to the journal.                                                                                                                                                            We aim at publishing pioneering, high-quality research in key areas of integrated and sustainable water and wastewater resources management. These include, for instance, uses and processes involving surface- and groundwater bodies, engineering techniques with a focus on upstream work, virtual water networks, innovative water and wastewater treatment solutions in humid, semiarid and arid regions, analytical and numerical modelling as well as the use of innovative algorithms devoted to the analysis of big-datasets. For more information see the following blog post: https://blog.frontiersin.org/2018/12/12/making-waves-paolo-perona-and-bjorn-vinneras-lead-new-water-related-section-in-frontiers-in-environmental-science/                  Or directly at the home of the section, available at this link

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