Nutrient Recovery and Reuse – Help Us Design a Systematic Map and Evidence Platform

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Research and development of circular nutrient technologies has intensified over the past years, making research output in this field increasingly hard to navigate and keep track of. There is a need for a robust and comprehensive mapping and synthesis of existing relevant research and better brokering of knowledge to policy and practice.

Researchers at our group are involved in the collaborative project End-of-wastewater that aims to:

  • Collate available peer-reviewed English language research on nutrient recovery and reuse into a comprehensive evidence base using systematic mapping methodology.
  • Develop an online evidence platform to navigate relevant scientific papers with ease.

Best Paper Award for “Recycling Nutrients Contained in Human Excreta to Agriculture: Pathways, Processes, and Products”

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Over the past years, research on technologies to recover nutrients from human excreta and domestic wastewater has intensified to such an extent that it has become difficult even for researchers in the field to keep track of new developments. In 2019, Harder and colleagues published a paper in Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology that aimed to provide a synthesis of available and proposed nutrient recovery pathways, covering both processes and products rendered by treatment.

Master student analyses nutrient flows

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My name is Sharareh Farshchiha and I am doing my master in Environmental Science at Gothenburg University. I write my master thesis for Sweden Water Research in collaboration with Robin Harder as my supervisor in SLU.  The aim of the study is to map and analyze the circularity of nutrient flows (N, P, K) for the current agricultural system, food consumption, and waste management infrastructure in Sweden. To analysis the nutrient flows, the Swedish food system was divided into five subsystems where the analysis performed focused on: 1. agricultural land, 2. livestock production, 3. food processing, 4. food consumption, and 5. residual management. The five subsystems was investigated considering internal and external nutrient flows. Internal flow represents the regional food system while the external flow relates to any food system outside of the geographical region of Sweden which interacts with the regional food system by food and feed imports and exports. To calculate the amount of nutrients in the five subsystems associated with external and internal flows, a calculation model was performed in Microsoft Excel. The model calculation in this study was developed by Robin Harder for Swedish food system. The extend of the model for waste system was done by a collaboration between me and a student from Lund University, Emma Enström, who is doing her master thesis in the same topic but for SkÄne.  

Emma Enström investigates food systems in SkÄne

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My name is Emma Enström and I am studying for a master degree in Strategic Environmental Work at Lund University. My master in science contain topics like contaminated soil, blue-green solutions, environmental impact assessments but also about circular economy, life cycle assessments, policy instruments and system assessments. I am writing my master thesis for Sweden Water Research in collaboration with Robin Harder in the Environmental Engineering Group.

The study aims to map nutrient flows in food system within the region of SkÄne, which are linked to the global food system. The study includes internal and external flows of nutrients (N, P and K) within the existing food, agricultural and residual electricity system. The study will thus examine opportunities and barriers in a future with a more sustainable management of these nutrients. The study is intended to contribute to the ongoing discussion in SkÄne regarding nutrient flows in the region and provide a greater understanding of nutrient flows related to food production, consumption and residual flows. The study will also explore future scenarios to contribute with knowledge of whether food consumption in SkÄne can be supported by local food production. The method I will use has been designed by Robin Harder and is a system assessment that takes into account the connections between a regional food system and the global food system in which it is embedded.

Welcome to our new PhD-student, Abood!

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Hi! My name is Abdulhamid Aliahmad, and since it’s hard to read and pronounce my name correctly, I go by Abood. I am an environmental engineer with multi environmental backgrounds gained through my bachelor’s degree, a 9-month internship, and two former jobs in Palestine focusing mostly on sanitation.  I have recently earned my master’s degree in energy & environmental engineering with focus on Sustainability Engineering from Linköping University and my thesis has been carried out together with Volvo Construction equipment in Carbon Neutrality domain using GHG Protocol.

Most recently, I was fortunate to become a part of the environmental engineering group in the Department of Energy and Technology at SLU as a new doctoral candidate working with Jennifer as my supervisor. My contribution to the project will be;

  • sustainability assessment for the nutrient recovery technologies from sanitation, mostly urine. The assessment will be performed using TIS (technology innovation systems), LCA (life cycle assessment) tools, and possibly QMRA (quantitative microbial risk assessment).
  • multi-criteria sustainability assessment of systems will be performed using case studies.

RECLAIM – serious gaming soon on the market (limited edition!)

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The SPANS project (Sanitation Planning for Alternative Nutrient-recovery Systems) has developed a serious game as a way of informing decision-making in sanitation planning incorporating the recycling of nutrient resources. The game has been tested with decision-makers and university students in Uganda and Sweden. Participants have found the game fun and useful for discussing challenges in sanitation planning.

The game is an board game that is designed for playing with a group of 4 participants. See this video for details of the game.

Jennifer McConville from our group is about to give her Docent Lecture!

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Welcome to the Spring Docent Lecture at the NJ-faculty where Jennifer McConville will present in the subject Technology. Circular Sanitation Systems – What would make the transition possible? 

Date: 10th of March
Time: 14.30 – 15.30
Location: Room L, main University building (Ulls hus), Ultuna Campus

A summary of the lecture which will be given in English, can be found below.

More info on all Docent lectures given at Ultuna this time can be found here:
https://www.slu.se/en/ew-calendar/2020/3/docent-lectures-at-the-nj-faculty-10-march-2020/

BONUS RETURN annual meeting and regional learning event in Helsinki

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Doktorand Solveig Johannesdottir och forskare Jennifer McConville deltog i det Ă„rliga mötet för projektet BONUS RETURN I Helsingfors 28-29 maj. De tvĂ„ interna dagarna avslutades med en dag för externa deltagare för kunskapsutbyte och diskussioner kring cirkulĂ€r ekonomi den 30e maj. Dagen startades med en presentation om RETURN projektet, följt av presentationer av Akko Karlsson (Kalmar Regional Council), Marcus Svedberg (Senior advisor, Stockholm Sustainable Finance Centre), Eija Hagelberg (Project Director, JÄRKI project, Baltic Sea Action Group) och Marc Klaus (Director, Race For The Baltic). DĂ€refter hölls en paneldiskussion kring Ă€mnet “Hur kan vi möjliggöra cirkulĂ€ra innovationer för att starta hĂ„llbara förĂ€ndringar i Östersjöregionen?”. Under eftermiddagen fick deltagarna sedan delta i diskussioner i mindre grupper kring Ă€mnena risker och fördelar med cirkulĂ€r ekonomi, sociala dimensioner, hur entreprenörskap kan pĂ„verka omstĂ€llningen till cirkulĂ€r ekonomi och nĂ€tverk för cirkulĂ€ra innovationer. För mer information om projektet, se bonusreturn.com och kolla in #bonusreturn pĂ„ Twitter.The BONUS RETURN partners in Helsinki, the 28th of May. PC: SEI