Towards the end of January, Jenna Senecal and Viktoria Wiklicky from Kretsloppsteknik were in Tampere, Finland to decomission our 25 L/day urine drying system that was in operation at the basement of Lielahti Manor house. The system was in use in between June 2019 and January 2020, and was a great showcase of the group’s and Sanitation360 AB’s on-site urine treatment technology, alkaline urine dehydration. Through this project, we demonstrated to our various Finnish partners that our technology is scalable, socio-technically feasbile, and marks a significant step away from erstwhile urine processing technologies. We are very thankful to our various collaborators, partners and stakeholders that helped make this a successful pilot project – Tampere City, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Hiedanranta Development Programme, city workers, officials, plumbers, subcontractors, research interns, and others.
The aim of the project is to evaluate how simple the system can be and how fast the process goes. The students are driving this experiment with aim to produce feed protein that can be used for chicken or fish production. The substrate is the canteen leftovers that would otherwise become food waste. The project at the school is a part of an EU collaboration project ”Envising” with focus on sustainability.
Follow the link to check out the larvae:Continue reading Live streaming of fly larvae composting project at Hedda Wising School
A paper was published in the Journal of Cleaner Production as a result of the partnership established between the Environmental Engineering Research Group at SLU and the PhD candidate Ivã Guidini Lopes, a researcher from São Paulo, Brazil. This paper addresses the management of waste generated in aquaculture enterprises (fish carcasses) by larvae of the black soldier fly (BSF, Hermetia illucens).Continue reading Using Hermetia illucens larvae to process biowaste from aquaculture production
My name is Natnael Girma, I’m a Ph.D. student from Ethiopia. I’m currently working on a research project on safe nutrient recovery from source separated urine for sustainable fertilizer production. I recently joined the energy and technology department (kretsloppsteknik unit) at SLU, as a licentiate student to do my research project. The project focuses on assessing adsorptive characteristics of pharmaceuticals during the production of urine-based fertilizers and the fate of pharmaceuticals during their end-use in agriculture. The second part of the research focuses on the microbial safety of using dry urine-based fertilizers in perspective of abundance of horizontally transmissible antibiotic resistant gene element.
In October 2019, Jenna Senecal travelled to Arles, France, to connect with Nick Davies from peeKeep. Nick has designed a new toilet and cabin and wanted to test how our alkaline dehydration technology could be integrated. The toilet uses a conveyer belt to transport the excreta and toilet paper to a drying chamber outside (the black PVC unit). While the urine is drained and collected for alkaline treatment (the black and grey sheet metal box). Nick will be building more of these toilets to be installed in various locations in southern France. The aim is to have all systems (light inside the cabin, toilet, excreta treatment) running off of solar voltaics.
The master thesis, Technical Evaluation of Urine Drying in Pilot Scale – a Field Experiment in Finland (author Caroline Karlsson), is now published at the DiVA portal. In this interesting master project the urine drying technology was tested for the first time in field conditions at a military base in southwestern Finland. For more information: http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2:1374211
This study investigated the occurrence and removal in wastewater and water bodies in Nakivubo wetland area and Inner Murchison Bay, Lake Victoria, of common prescription and non-prescription pharmaceutically-active substances (PhACs) sold in Kampala city, Uganda. A questionnaire was sent to 20 pharmacies in Kampala, to identify the most commonly sold PhACs in the city. During two sampling campaigns, samples were collected from Bugolobi wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) influent and effluent and surface water samples from Nakivubo channel, Nakivubo wetland and Inner Murchison Bay. The concentrations of 28 PhACs, organic matter, solids and nutrients in water samples were analysed. Ciprofloxacin (antibiotic), cetirizine (anti-allergy), metformin (anti-diabetes), metronidazole (antibiotic) and omeprazole (gastric therapy) were reported by pharmacies to be the PhACs most commonly sold in the study area. Chemical analysis of water samples revealed that trimethoprim (antibiotic) and sulfamethoxazole (antibiotic) were the dominant PhACs in water from all sites except Lake Victoria.Continue reading Pharmaceutical pollution of water resources in Nakivubo wetlands & Lake Victoria, Uganda
Like many low-income countries, Uganda is struggling to provide sanitation to its inhabitants. Meeting the Sustainable Development Goal related to sanitation (SDG6) will require major investments in sanitation. This study uses the concept of service regimes to analyze existing sanitation infrastructure and services and their respective costs. The service regimes investigated are the sewage regime and the fecal sludge (FS) regime. The results show that approximately 56% of the fecal flow in Kampala is estimated as ‘safely managed’. The results also show that the annual per capita costs for the sewage regime (USD 186) are more than 13-fold those for the FS regime (USD 14). Additionally, there are large differences in subsidies between the regimes. When allocating public funds, decision-makers are advised to consider (i) number of customers within regimes, (ii) total capital and operating costs of services, (iii) cost allocation between stakeholders, and (iv) infrastructure performance.
McConville, J. R., Kvarnström, E., Maiteki, J. M., & Niwagaba, C. B. (2019). Infrastructure investments and operating costs for fecal sludge and sewage treatment systems in Kampala, Uganda. Urban Water Journal, 1-10.
We ended the year 2019 with a very fun activity – trying out a new role-playing game developed by Jennifer McConville and her colleagues. RECLAIM is an exciting, dynamic board game whose main purpose is to act as a learning tool for participatory decision-making on water and sanitation issues. There are several stakeholders represented in the game, and all players are allowed to role play each stakeholder, and collaborate to provide and improve the sanitation situation of their region. The board itself is modular in the sense that it can be arranged to depict that group of players’ cities, be it a peri-urban area in Uganda or the urban area of central Stockholm. Not only did we have a lot of fun role playing, but we also found it to be quite intuitive. At the end of the game, we as players reflected on how RECLAIM can be a great tool that can help community members to come together, share, and help understand each other’s perspective on sanitation and how such games provide an ideal platform to make that happen.
Role-playing and gaming are active learning tools, which are useful for learning relationships between technology and society, problem solving in complex situations and communication. For further information about RECLAIM, get in touch with Jennifer McConville at Kretsloppsteknik
Phosphorus has long been the highest priority when recovering plant nutrients from sewage. However, nitrogen should be given top priority according to a new evaluation of criteria linked to the use of non-renewable resources, vulnerability, and potentially reduced climate impact.
When prioritizing recovery from wastewater, phosphorus often emphasised as it is necessary for all life and as it is stated to soon run out (Peak phosphorus). There is reason to question this one-sided emphasis on phosphorus. The report “Phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium and sulphur – access, vulnerability and recovery from wastewater” reviews a) risks linked to the production of artificial fertilizers from non-renewable resources; b) the vulnerability of Swedish plant production to blocked import of artificial fertilizers; and c) potentially reduced climate impact in the recovery of plant nutrients from wastewater.
All investigated criteria show that the recovery of nitrogen from wastewater should be given highest prioritized, and significantly higher than the recovery of both phosphorus and potassium. According to its directives, the presently working governmental investigation on sewage sludge is obliged to submit a proposal focused on recycling of phosphorus from sewage sludge by 10 January 2020. The risk is obvious that the wastewater sector will be forced to devote considerable resources to phosphorus recovery, resources that should be invested in nitrogen recovery to best contribute towards increased sustainability for both the wastewater system and the entire food system.
For more information, read the report: Fosfor, kväve, kalium och svavel – tillgång, sårbarhet och återvinning från avlopp. Download from: https://pub.epsilon.slu.se/16407/