Hello, my name is Nikos Gyftopoulos, I am from Greece, where I did my bachelors in Biology in the National Kapodistrian University of Athens, and now I am living in Uppsala.
I am doing my master’s programme in Applied Biotechnology at Uppsala University and I am presently doing my thesis in the Department of Energy and Technology of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), with the Environmental Engineering Research Group. During the following months I intend to learn many aspects related to the bioconversion of organic wastes with black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens, BSFL) and develop my thesis in this subject.
I will be supervised by Dr. Ivã Guidini Lopes and Dr. Cecilia Lalander, and the project we will develop together regards evaluations of the inactivation patterns of microbial pathogens during the bioconversion of contaminated post-consumer food waste.
We have recently published a paper in Resources, Conservation and Recycling which looks into the possibility of using Poly-L-Lactic Acid (PLLA) biopolymer to capsulate and safely dose chemicals to human urine.
Alkaline dehydration of urine for recycling of plant essential nutrients requires fresh urine to be stabilized with alkali or metal hydroxides. Improper handling and exposure to these chemicals may cause skin or breathing irritation. Therefore, if these chemicals are wrapped inside capsules made of a biopolymer, human interaction with these chemicals can be minimized and chemicals could be passively dosed to urine. These capsules can also be used for dosing of oxidants and peroxides for the removal of micropollutants and pharmaceuticals from urine.
In the study, degradation of PLLA films in Ca(OH)2 dosed fresh urine was evaluated with temperature, thickness and pH being the variables. The results of this investigation provided some really interesting results in terms of physiochemical changes in the urine and the physical, chemical and molecular changes of the films. If you are interested to find out more and read the full article, click here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921344923003361 .
Shack dwellings in informal settlements are home to a billion people worldwide. In Namibia, 40% of the population currently live in shacks. These settlements often lack land tenure and governments do not have capacity to invest in infrastructure in unplanned spaces. Therefore, they are not connected to centralised sewage systems and on-site decentralised sanitation becomes the norm.
In a paper published in the journal City and Environment Interactions, Gert van der Merwe and I explore this grey zone of urban informality and the gap in sanitation delivery in Namibia. We evaluate how local communities, non-government organisations (Clay House Project and Development Workshop Namibia) and an international development agency (GIZ Namibia) interact and navigate the physical, economic and political landscape of implementing bottom-up sanitation solutions for informal settlements. In critical analysis of the three different sanitation delivery models of these organisations, we consider their historical development, underlying philosophies and technical solutions. We also examine how products from different sanitation systems are managed and whether urine source separation could improve their management.
Our latest publication on the dynamics of BSFL composting is just out in Waste management.
Around the world, many types of waste streams are (bio)converted with these insect larvae, and the treatment efficiency is dependent on the materials’ characteristics and rearing conditions. In this study, we evaluated the impact of these traits on the efficiency of this bioconversion.
We found out that the nutritional composition of waste is far from being the only factor that affect the efficiency of the bioconversion process. The number of larvae we add in one treatment unit impact on in the total yield of larval biomass (feed ingredient) up to a threshold at which point adding more seed larvae no longer increase the total yield of larval biomass. The depth and moisture of the biowaste was found to affect the larval survival and consequently, the overall process efficiency.
This study sheds light in how to establish several process parameters during waste treatment with BSFL, assisting waste managers and insect breeders on how to treat new waste streams with this insect larvae, promoting circularity in the sector.
Framtidens Bonde är en webbinarieserier som diskuterar framtidsbranscherna, de gröna näringarna. På tisdag den 12 september ska Cecilia Lalander från Kretsloppsteknikgruppen vara med och diskutera om Insekter kan skapa nya intäkter i jordbruket.
Two members of the Kretsloppsteknik’s BSF group will attend the INSECTA 2023 conference in Magdeburg, Germany, which is being organized by Pilot Pflanzenöltechnologie Magdeburg e.V. (PPM), on September 13-14th. Ivã Guidini Lopes and the PhD candidate Lovisa Lindberg will be presenting two ongoing studies on the topic of organic waste treatment with BSF larvae. Ivã will hold an oral presentation regarding the inactivation of pathogens by BSF larvae in a large-scale setting, entitled “Safety assessment of black soldier fly larvae reared on food waste” and Lovisa will present her recent findings on the bioconversion of greenhouse waste with BSF larvae, also as an oral presentation entitled “Practical adjustments in fly larvae composting when treating plant-based waste”. The complete program for the conference can be accessed by clicking here.
Chea Eliyan, a PhD student from the group attended WWW 2023 in Stockholm from August 20-24. WWW is annual event organized by SIWI. For this year, it sets out to tackle the questions under the theme, Seed of Change: Innovative Solutions for a Water-Wise World.
Many side events, exhibitions from various stakeholder, as well as a wide range of topics presented during those four days event. It was a great opportunity for her to learn and networking with different people in the field for her future career. Despite attended the selected sessions which are related to wastewater reuse and resource recovery, Eliyan got a chance to talk to some of the researchers from who she previously only had read their publications. It was an impressive event and Eliyan is looking forward to be part of it next year.
This new report, “Wastewater – Turning problem to solution” urges decision makers and action takers from all regions of the world to implement the three key actions, to overcome some or all seven barriers, and to put in place all or some of the six building blocks, described in the publication.
Hi, my name is Jacob Fager. I’m stationed on Gotland and my main task is to collect urine. I used to be a soldier since I finished school 2016 but now I’m about to study to become a farmer. I grew up on my family’s farm, so it has always been in my interest. While I’m waiting on my studies to start I will be helping this interesting project and hoping I will lucky to be able to use human urine fertilizer on my future farm.