How much water do each of us use every day? Can future sanitation systems and off-the-grid houses be designed so as to minimize energy and water consumption? Where does wastewater management fit into the waste hierarchy/pyramid? In his presentation, Björn Vinnerås, Associate Professor at SLU shares with us his vision of future housing: a future where there is ‘no need for network connections, neither electricity nor water, and nor wastewater’.
On 25th October, the kretsloppsteknik research group hosted a farewell symposium in honor of Professor Håkan Jönsson. At SLU, Prof. Jönsson has been leading research and education on the topic of nutrient recycling from wastewater and food waste since 1993, when the topic was first introduced at the department of energy and technology. It was under his lead, the research group kretsloppsteknik (environmental engineering) was established.
In his farewell presentation Prof. Jönsson explored many topics such as composting, source-separation of wastewater, urine diversion and recycling, systems analysis and environmental impact assessment of urine diversion, etc. Click here to access the presentation which recaps the work, research and contributions of Prof. Jönsson to various subject areas over the years.
At a symposium hosted by the Kretsloppsteknik group, Dr. Mariska Ronteltap of the IHE Delft Institute for Water Capacity Building presented her perspective on what the future of sanitation education could look like. Why is it important to build capacity in the WASH sector? How can we do it through innovative teaching methods? How can MOOCs, Online Learning, Professional Diploma Programs, Active Learning, etc. towards sanitation education? Learn about this and the one-year Masters Programme in Sanitation being developed by IHE in Dr. Ronteltap’s presentation. Post published by Prithvi Simha
What is ‘New Sanitation’ according to Professor Grietje Zeeman from Wageningen University in the Netherlands? How has the practical experience been so far with the upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor for blackwater treatment and bio-flocculation of greywater? Can micropollutants be mitigated through composting of anaerobic sludge? Are heavy metals from wastewater really a problem in agriculture? Interested in learning more about how these technologies have been applied at full scale in Sneek, Venlo, Wageningen and The Hague? Click here to access Professor Zeeman’s presentation.Post published by Prithvi Simha
Is it possible to reduce the water footprint of a city to 1/10th of its current value without sacrificing any comfort? What does circular economy mean for sanitation systems? How important is phosphorous for food production? How can source separation systems improve nutrient cycling in the environment? Can we produce biodiesel from algae grown in urine? Professor Petter Jenssen from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences explores these questions and many more in his presentation which can be accessed here. Post published by Prithvi Simha
How do we tackle the unprecedented increase in nutrient emissions in the world? How much nitrogen is emitted by agriculture and wastewater treatment? In her presentation at SLU, Professor Tove Larsen from EAWAG, Switzerland analyses the current wastewater treatment situation in various regions in the world. She suggests urine source separation can be part of the solution to address global nutrient emissions. To know more about this and other aspects such as the Blue Diversion Toilet and the Eawag water hub, check out Prof. Larsen’s presentation.Post published by Prithvi Simha
Dr. David Gustavsson, Research Leader at Sweden Water Research loves centralized wastewater treatment plants! He starts his presentation saying…“I really love these plants”. At a symposium filled with people discussing the possibility of taking sanitation off the grid, that’s quite a statement to make. Jokingly, he further comments, “....should I leave now?”. How good are centralized WWTPs in removing unwanted substances? In nutrient removal and recovery? Is there a case to be made for the co-existence or indeed, the integration of urine diversion with the operation of such plants? How will WWTP operations be affected with increased urine diversion at source?
Click here to access Dr. Gustavsson’s presentation to find out more and let us know what you think!Post published by Prithvi Simha
Is urine diversion a new concept? In his presentation at SLU, Jan-Olof Drangert, Assoc. Prof. at Linköping University traces the evolution of sanitation and nutrient recycling in Sweden over the years. He suggests that, water-based sanitation used in the 20th century may have been just a brief detour in human history as we’ve strongly relied on dry sanitation systems in the past. Will our societies return to favor circular systems? Click to see what Dr. Drangert has to say about this.Post published by Prithvi Simha
The eThekwini Municipality in the greater Durban region with its 80,000 urine diverting toilets is often highlighted as a success story for dry sanitation. In a recent presentation at SLU, Professor Chris Buckley, Head of the Pollution Research Group at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa reflected on the eThekwini case study.
Jenna Senecal, Doctoral Candidate at the Environmental Engineering Unit, Department of Energy and Technology will defend her licentiate thesis entitled, Urea stabilisation and dehydration for urine-diverting toilets: System and hygiene evaluation.
When?: 24 October 2017 at 09:00
Where?: Lecture Room S, Ulls hus, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala
For further information, get in touch with Jenna Senecal at the Department of Energy and Technology, P.O. Box 7032, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden. E-mail: email@example.com
Abstract: Over four billion people are discharging untreated human excreta into the environment without any prior treatment, causing eutrophication and spreading disease. This eutrophication is caused by nutrients found predominantly in urine. If managed adequately, urine can be used as a fertiliser because it contains the same plant nutrients as the fertilisers used to produce the food that people eat. Currently to replace the nutrients removed from fields during harvesting, more fertilisers are being manufactured and applied and ultimately more are being leached into the environment.
The use of human urine as a fertiliser is limited by its low nutrient concentration compared with commercial fertilisers. This study sought to increase the nitrogen (N) concentration (from 0.6 % to >6 %) through dehydration to produce a dry fertiliser of monetary value and where no liquid disposal from the toilet is required. The objective of this thesis was to evaluate a treatment that could stabilise urea and concentrate the urine while retaining >80 % of the NKP. Fresh human urine was added at various intervals to wood ash or biochar to first alkalise and thus inhibit the enzyme urease which catalyses the hydrolysis of urea. The urine was then dehydrated at temperatures of between 35 and 65 °C. A hygiene assessment was undertaken to observe the inactivation of five microorganisms (three indicators: Enterococcus faecalis, MS2 bacteriophage and ΦX 174 bacteriophage; and two pathogens: Ascaris suum and Salmonella enterica sub enterica Typhimurium) at the end of the alkaline dehydration process.
Urine mass was reduced by 95 % during dehydration, while preserving up to 90 % of the N and all the P and K. Ascaris inactivation data was fitted to a non-linear regression model, which estimated that 325 days of storage would be required for a 3 log10 reduction at 20 °C and 9.2 days of storage at 42 °C. The bacteria and bacteriophages were below the detection limit within four days at 20 °C. Just collecting urine separately from faeces provides a 5.2 log10 reduction. The material is concentrated during dehydration which results in a 3.5 log10 reduction overall just from urine-diversion.
This alkaline dehydration system installed in new or already existing toilets would greatly simplify the logistics and costs of storing, transporting and applying urine as a fertiliser. The truly innovative feature is the final product, a dry powder with 7.8 % N, 2.5 % P and 10.9 % K on dry weight, i.e. equivalent to commercial fertilisers. After just four days of storage, the dehydrated medium would meet WHO and USEPA guidelines for unrestricted fertiliser use.
Posted by Prithvi Simha