Elena Lemaître joins the Urine Drying Project

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My name is Elena Lemaître. I come from France and I have justed finished my fourth year at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes. I study chemistry and I specialise in processes for environmental protection. At SLU, I am part of the urine drying research team. I work on the effect of salt concentration in dehydrated urine in relation to the enzymatic activity of urea degrading enzyme urease. I will be here until the end of August.

Nea Ahopalo joins the Urine Drying Project

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My name is Nea Ahopalo. I have just completed my second year of environmental engineering studies at Tampere University of Applied Sciences in Finland, which is also my home country. At SLU, I will be joining the urine drying research team. My responsibilities include researching the efficiencies of urine drying systems and determining how long one system can be used continually before chemical replacements need to be made. I will be staying in Uppsala until the end of July this year.

SLU’s Urine Drying in Deutsche Welle (DW)

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Beatrice Christofaro captures the argument quite well as to why source-separated fractions like #urine should be recycled in this #DeutscheWelle (DW) article.

The way we manage nutrients in our wastewater and produce food globally is not sustainable. Countries are vulnerable changes in supply of fertilizers, as they’re produced using non-renewable feedstock such as natural gas, coal, and phosphate rock. Majority of the fertilisers used globally are also produced by a handful of countries. So its not a big suprise to us that fertiliser prices have soared recently and food price inflation has increased.
But we can make food production more resilient. Read the article and see how the #SLU and #Sanitation360 solution could increase local food security.

Read Full Article here: https://www.dw.com/en/are-we-flushing-away-the-answer-to-our-fertilizer-shortages/a-61737037

2022 Barley season has begun!

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Jenna Senecal joined Bo and Freda from Hushållnings sällskapet in seeding the barley. We have four treatments: no fertilizer, mineral fertilizer, Uppsala Fertilizer and Gotland Fertilizer (that last two are urine based and have been stabilized with different types of media). It is very exciting to have reached this stage where the urine fertilizer is being applied with conventional farming equipment.  Keep posted for the performance – last year’s harvest went great!

Photo by Jenna Senecal

Oliver Pay joins the Urine Drying Project

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My name is Oliver Pay. I am originally from the UK, but I now live in Finland and study environmental engineering at Tampere University of Applied Sciences, where I have just finished my second year. At SLU, I will be part of the urine drying research team. My responsibilities at SLU are to research efficiencies of urine drying systems, and to determine how long a system can be used before there needs to be chemical replacement. I will be here until the end of July this year.

 

Cecilia joined TABLES seminar on How to squeeze fat into a sustainable food future

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On the 13th of April a seminar on How to squeeze fat into a sustainable food future was organised by TABLE and SLU Future Food. Cecilia presented on using insects for fat production. Turns out her insects actually are quite good at synthesising fat; could they play a role in closing the fat gap? The fat gap is the gap between the total amount of fat needed for humanities nutritional needs and how much that is actually being produced. If you want to find out more about this, have a listen to the seminar.

 

 

Jenna joins the Swedish Tech Delegation to South Africa

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Jenna Senecal joined the Swedish Tech Delegation to Cape Town, South Africa during the end of April 2022. This was part of Cape Town / Stockholm Connect, which is an internationalization project and co-creation platform where the goal is to strengthen tech and investor ties between Sweden and South Africa. During the week, Jenna met with other Swedish companies looking at establishing in South Africa and several South African startups looking at their growth potential.

A highlight for Jenna was meeting Birger Lundgren and Michèle Spooner who are working hard to bring affordable and sustainable sanitation to schools (as a start!).

Photo by Birger Lundgren

New publication digs deep into dissolution behaviour of Magnesium Hydroxide in Human Urine

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Here’s a new paper we published in Frontiers in Environmental Science: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fenvs.2022.889119/full

In the study, we systematically analysed the kinetics and thermodynamics of how magnesium hydroxide dissolves in different types of human urine (fresh urine and fresh urine concentrated by evaporation). We showed that Mg hydroxide has a unique dissolution behaviour which is unlike that of other alkaline earth hydroxides, especially when water is removed from urine. We detail conditions and design criteria for alkalising and for dehydrating urine, which is useful when developing source-separating sanitation systems.

A cool aspect of the study was that we found a smart way to simulate the kinetics of how fast Mg hydroxide dissolves, how fast various precipitates form (e.g. struvite, apatite), and how fast urine is alkalised and saturated. We did this by matching the experimentally measured pH of urine with its thermodynamically simulated pH. This approach could be applied to any system as long as the parameter we measure is something we can also simulate thermodynamically.

Abdulhamid Aliahmad’s one-year follow-up seminar

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On the 20th of April, Abdulhamid (Abood) Aliahmad had his one-year follow-up seminar.The presentation focused on the findings of the first study and inputs from the second study.

The first study focuses on evaluating whether the current state of knowledge concerning urine recycling technologies is sufficient to facilitate upscaling development and increased diffusion. Knowledge development and diffusion is a key function in the development of technological innovation systems (TIS). The study proposes a multi-criteria framework, together with bibliometric analysis to conduct such evaluation. The second study will follow up on this one examining other functions of the TIS.

He preliminary concluded that urine recycling TIS has the tendency for strong publication rate growth and diffusion between countries. However, the function still has insufficiency in some criteria. The analysis identified the lack of innovation in scientific research and the lack of diversification of emerging technologies into the TIS as weak elements. The frequency of research publication and pilot-scale implementations on each technology shall be higher.

He also included the proposed approaches for his next two studies. The seminar ended with many interesting questions and discussions.

If you want to know more about his research, click here.