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Through the Transformation
of Putrescent Waste
by Dr. Paul Olivier
paul.olivier@esrla.com
1
Empowering the Poor through Wa...
2
Suppose we were asked to imagine one of the best possible
ways to dispose of putrescent waste,
to imagine a totally natu...
3
The unit housing this process should operate with the
simplicity of a garbage bin.
It should have no moving parts, and i...
4
This bioconversion process should not demand the
introduction of anything foreign or exotic.
It should be powered by a c...
5
It must have the ability to thrive in the presence of salts,
alcohols, ammonia and a variety of food toxins.
In addition...
6
Why not insist upon the reintegration into the feed chain
of most of the nutrients contained within putrescent
waste?
Wh...
7
The agent chosen for this bioconversion process is the larva
of the black soldier fly (BSF) Hermetia illucens,
a tropica...
8
Empowering the Poor through Waste
Transformation
9
Unlike most other flies, BSF adults do not go into houses,
they do not have functional mouth parts,
they do not eat,
the...
10
When females visit waste to lay eggs, they do not come
into physical contact with the waste.
They lay their eggs above ...
11
BSF eggs are relatively slow in hatching: from 102 to 105
hours.
The newly hatched larvae crawl onto the waste and eat ...
12
However under conditions of stress, maturation and
emergence can take up to six months.
Here we see incredible flexibil...
13
BSF larvae have a very distinctive smell (not offensive
to humans) that drives away houseflies and all other
filth-bear...
14
In an experiment conducted in Texas over a period of one
year, it was noted that BSF larvae can digest over 15
kg/day o...
15
It was also noted that roughly 20% by weight of fresh
food waste converted into fresh larvae.
This food waste had an av...
16
17
18
19
20
Fresh Horse Manure
21
40 minutes later
22
24 hours later
23
flesh and shell eaten within less than 24 hours
24
flesh eaten within less than 24 hours
25
In contrast to red worms and earthworms, BSF larvae
have the ability to eat and digest just about any type of
putrescen...
26
Since thermophilic and anaerobic bacteria play no part in
this process,
BSF larvae are able to conserve and recycle mos...
27Making Waste our Greatest Resource
28Making Waste our Greatest Resource
29Making Waste our Greatest Resource
30Making Waste our Greatest Resource
31Making Waste our Greatest Resource
32Making Waste our Greatest Resource
33Making Waste our Greatest Resource
34Making Waste our Greatest Resource
35Making Waste our Greatest Resource
36
Upon reaching maturity, BSF larvae change color from
beige to black, their mouth parts transform into a
digger, they em...
37
BSF migration initially appears to be a random search
for a way out of the waste.
If a ramp of an upward inclination li...
38
At the summit of the ramp, an exit hole is provided, and
this hole discharges into a collection bucket.
BSF larvae are ...
39
These biopods resemble garbage bins, but these bins are
somewhat special in that they possess two small
ramps.
These ra...
40
US Patent
6,780,637
The
Larvae
Climb
Both
Ramps
Empowering the Poor through Waste
Transformation
41
Empowering the Poor through Waste
Transformation
42
To enhance crawl-off efficiency, the processing vessel
must not only be round: it must be relatively small.
Therefore the ...
Stirring allows larvae to feed three-dimensionally – not
just on the surface of the waste.
Three-dimensional feeding withi...
Empowering the Poor through Waste
Transformation 45
Empowering the Poor through Waste
Transformation 46
The mesophilic bin below the biopod can house red
worms.
BSF larvae are raised in the biopod above,
while redworms are rai...
Here we see the first biopod set up in Binh Dinh
province as well as the first larvae harvested from it:
Empowering the Po...
Any number of biopods can be coupled together to
handle large quantities of waste.
In a tropical setting, mating, egg-layi...
Empowering the Poor through Waste
Transformation
50
Empowering the Poor through Waste
Transformation
51
Empowering the Poor through Waste
Transformation
52
Empowering the Poor through Waste
Transformation
53
Can handle 160 tons of
waste each day.
54
42.1% crude protein (high in lysine)
34.8% ether extract (lipids)
7.0% crude fiber
7.9% moisture
1.4% nitrogen free ext...
The big value here is in the lipids.
They contain about 54% lauric acid.
The monoglyceride of lauric acid, known as monola...
Perhaps the high content of lauric acid in BSF larvae
explains why mortality in catfish ponds has been
noted to drop drama...
57
If fresh putrescent waste is made available to them
under the right conditions, BSF larvae often
appear naturally from ...
58
BSF residue constitutes an ideal substrate for red
worms.
In fact, red worms grow 2 to 3 times faster on BSF
residue th...
59
Together they form a perfect partnership, recovering
all possible nutrients.
Red worm castings constitute one of the be...
A study in Connecticut (Lunt and Jacobson, 1944)
reported worm castings increase the nutrient
availability of the soil by ...
61
Red worms are commonly fed to shrimp in Vietnam
to suppress disease.
Chickens fed small quantities of red worms consume...
62
Even though BSF larvae thrive quite well on food
waste, fresh food waste is generally too valuable in
nutrients to feed...
63
When larvae eat fecal matter, there is no release of
leachate.
The urine of the pig is allowed to flow into a dry
bioma...
64
Fresh food waste constitutes Type 1 waste, which
ideally should be transformed into feed.
Fecal material constitutes Ty...
65
And perhaps one of the worst things we can do is to
transform Type 1 or Type 2 waste into biogas.
If it is fuel we need...
66
The central idea here is to exploit waste for all its
worth, and waste should be transformed at the
highest possible le...
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BSF & Redworm Bio Conversion

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Transformation of Putrescent Waste

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BSF & Redworm Bio Conversion

  1. 1. Through the Transformation of Putrescent Waste by Dr. Paul Olivier paul.olivier@esrla.com 1 Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation
  2. 2. 2 Suppose we were asked to imagine one of the best possible ways to dispose of putrescent waste, to imagine a totally natural process that would effect an enormous reduction in weight and volume within a matter of just a few hours. This process should require no energy, no electricity, no chemicals, not even water. It should be totally self-contained and not emit a drop of effluent, and aside from a small amount of carbon dioxide, it should not produce methane or any other greenhouse gases.
  3. 3. 3 The unit housing this process should operate with the simplicity of a garbage bin. It should have no moving parts, and it should require very little servicing and maintenance, very little expertise or experience to operate. It should not emit offensive odors, and it should drive away houseflies and other filth-bearing flies. This simple and inexpensive unit could be situated out-of- doors in a shaded area, and any number of units could be coupled together to handle unlimited quantities of waste.
  4. 4. 4 This bioconversion process should not demand the introduction of anything foreign or exotic. It should be powered by a creature commonly found throughout the whole world, and even though it may have lived alongside humans for thousands of years, it should not be associated in any way with the transmission of disease. In view of the wide variability of putrescent waste presented to it, this benign creature should possess one of the most robust digestive systems within nature.
  5. 5. 5 It must have the ability to thrive in the presence of salts, alcohols, ammonia and a variety of food toxins. In addition to food waste, it should be able to digest the feces of swine, poultry, cattle and so forth. Upon reaching maturity, it should be rigidly regimented by evolution to migrate out of the waste and into a collection bucket without any human or mechanical intervention. This self-harvesting grub should represent a bundle of nutrients that should rival in commercial value the finest fish meal.
  6. 6. 6 Why not insist upon the reintegration into the feed chain of most of the nutrients contained within putrescent waste? Why allow bacteria to break down and devalue these complex nutrients? Does such a process exist? Hopefully it will become clear that the process described above does indeed exist, and that it represents one of the cleanest, most efficient, and most economical way to recycle most types of fresh putrescent waste.
  7. 7. 7 The agent chosen for this bioconversion process is the larva of the black soldier fly (BSF) Hermetia illucens, a tropical fly indigenous to the whole of the Americas, from the southern tip of Argentina to Boston and Seattle. During World War II, the black soldier fly spread into Europe, India, Asia and even Australia.
  8. 8. 8 Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation
  9. 9. 9 Unlike most other flies, BSF adults do not go into houses, they do not have functional mouth parts, they do not eat, they do not regurgitate on human food, and therefore, they are not associated in any way with the transmission of disease. Adults do not bite, bother or annoy humans. Their activity is limited solely to mating and egg-laying. Note that only females visit waste. Males never come near waste, since males do not lay eggs.
  10. 10. 10 When females visit waste to lay eggs, they do not come into physical contact with the waste. They lay their eggs above or to the side of the waste, never on the waste, otherwise they run the risk of their eggs being eaten along with the waste. A female produces about 900 eggs in her short life of 5 to 8 days. Housefly adults, by contrast, live up to 30 days, and during this long period, they must eat, and in so doing, they are actively engaged in the spread of disease.
  11. 11. 11 BSF eggs are relatively slow in hatching: from 102 to 105 hours. The newly hatched larvae crawl onto the waste and eat it with amazing speed. BSF larvae pass through five stages or instars. Upon reaching maturity, they are about 25 mm in length, 6 mm in diameter, and they weigh about 0.2 grams. Under ideal conditions, it takes about two weeks for the larvae to reach maturity, and another two weeks for the mature larvae to pupate and emerge as adults.
  12. 12. 12 However under conditions of stress, maturation and emergence can take up to six months. Here we see incredible flexibility and adaptability. These larvae are also tough and robust. They can survive under conditions of extreme oxygen deprivation. It takes, for example, approximately two hours for them to die when submerged in rubbing alcohol. They can be subjected to over one thousand g’s of centrifugation without harming them in any way.
  13. 13. 13 BSF larvae have a very distinctive smell (not offensive to humans) that drives away houseflies and all other filth-bearing flies. This info-chemical, a natural fly-repellant, assures the absence of flies wherever BSF larvae are present.
  14. 14. 14 In an experiment conducted in Texas over a period of one year, it was noted that BSF larvae can digest over 15 kg/day of restaurant food waste per square meter of feeding surface. This capacity can be greatly extended if the residue is frequently stirred or aerated. A 95% reduction in the weight and volume of this waste was also noted. This means that for every 100 kgs of restaurant food waste deposited into a unit, only 5 kg of a black, friable residue remained!
  15. 15. 15 It was also noted that roughly 20% by weight of fresh food waste converted into fresh larvae. This food waste had an average dry matter content of 37%, and the prepupae had an average dry matter content of 44%. On a dry matter basis, the bioconversion of food waste situates at almost 24%. The following flow diagram is based upon an input of 100 kg of food waste per day:
  16. 16. 16
  17. 17. 17
  18. 18. 18
  19. 19. 19
  20. 20. 20 Fresh Horse Manure
  21. 21. 21 40 minutes later
  22. 22. 22 24 hours later
  23. 23. 23 flesh and shell eaten within less than 24 hours
  24. 24. 24 flesh eaten within less than 24 hours
  25. 25. 25 In contrast to red worms and earthworms, BSF larvae have the ability to eat and digest just about any type of putrescent waste, including meat and dairy products. The moment waste is deposited into the unit, the larvae secrete powerful digestive enzymes into the waste long before it begins to rot and smell.
  26. 26. 26 Since thermophilic and anaerobic bacteria play no part in this process, BSF larvae are able to conserve and recycle most of the nutrients and energy within the waste. The following pictures illustrate just how fast BSF larvae eat and digest food waste:
  27. 27. 27Making Waste our Greatest Resource
  28. 28. 28Making Waste our Greatest Resource
  29. 29. 29Making Waste our Greatest Resource
  30. 30. 30Making Waste our Greatest Resource
  31. 31. 31Making Waste our Greatest Resource
  32. 32. 32Making Waste our Greatest Resource
  33. 33. 33Making Waste our Greatest Resource
  34. 34. 34Making Waste our Greatest Resource
  35. 35. 35Making Waste our Greatest Resource
  36. 36. 36 Upon reaching maturity, BSF larvae change color from beige to black, their mouth parts transform into a digger, they empty their guts of waste, and they set out in search of an ideal pupation site. BSF larvae will crawl over 50 meters in search of an ideal pupation site. An ideal pupation site consists of a dark, dry area providing refuge or cover for the mature prepupal larvae.
  37. 37. 37 BSF migration initially appears to be a random search for a way out of the waste. If a ramp of an upward inclination lies at the edge of the waste, they will make every effort to negotiate this ramp. If the ramp has an angle less than 40 degrees, the larvae will have no problem climbing it.
  38. 38. 38 At the summit of the ramp, an exit hole is provided, and this hole discharges into a collection bucket. BSF larvae are totally self-harvesting. They abandon the waste only when they have reached their final mature prepupal stage, and they crawl out of the waste and into a bucket without any mechanical or human intervention. Hence the biopod: made out of medium density polyethylene by means of the roto-molding process. Biopods are fabricated in Saigon using 90% recycled plastic.
  39. 39. 39 These biopods resemble garbage bins, but these bins are somewhat special in that they possess two small ramps. These ramps begin at the bottom of the biopod and spiral up to the top. Note that the shape of the biopod is round. This is very important, since rectangular or square units with corners have a low crawl-off efficiency. Larvae tend to get stuck in corners and eventually die there.
  40. 40. 40 US Patent 6,780,637 The Larvae Climb Both Ramps
  41. 41. Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation 41
  42. 42. Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation 42
  43. 43. To enhance crawl-off efficiency, the processing vessel must not only be round: it must be relatively small. Therefore the maximum diameter of the biopod is restricted to a nominal 4 feet (actually 1.11 meters). This assures that the larvae can easily and quickly find ramps and evacuate the waste as they mature. Abiopod of this size is easy to transport, and it fits nicely onto standard wooden pallets. Its small size makes it easy to stir. Stirring provides oxygen and dissipates heat. Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation 43
  44. 44. Stirring allows larvae to feed three-dimensionally – not just on the surface of the waste. Three-dimensional feeding within a biopod allows larvae to dispose of 5 to 10 times more waste than two- dimensional surface feeding. The bottom of the biopod can be perforated so as to allow liquids to drain out. These liquids could be allowed to drain into a container for eventual disposal off-site. Or they can be allowed to flow into a bed of biomass and biochar. Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation 44
  45. 45. Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation 45
  46. 46. Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation 46
  47. 47. The mesophilic bin below the biopod can house red worms. BSF larvae are raised in the biopod above, while redworms are raised in the mesophilic bin below. Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation 47
  48. 48. Here we see the first biopod set up in Binh Dinh province as well as the first larvae harvested from it: Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation 48
  49. 49. Any number of biopods can be coupled together to handle large quantities of waste. In a tropical setting, mating, egg-laying and waste consumption can all take place in the same enclosure. Adults mate in lateral fly screen extensions of the same enclosure where larvae eat waste. After mating, females have free access to biopods to lay their eggs. It is not necessary for humans to manipulate or transfer eggs or newly hatched larvae. Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation 49
  50. 50. Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation 50
  51. 51. Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation 51
  52. 52. Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation 52
  53. 53. Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation 53 Can handle 160 tons of waste each day.
  54. 54. 54 42.1% crude protein (high in lysine) 34.8% ether extract (lipids) 7.0% crude fiber 7.9% moisture 1.4% nitrogen free extract (NFE) 14.6% ash 5.0% calcium 1.5% phosphorus Source: Newton, Booram, Barker & Hale, 1977
  55. 55. The big value here is in the lipids. They contain about 54% lauric acid. The monoglyceride of lauric acid, known as monolaurin has profound antiviral and antibacterial properties. This amazing mono-ester kills several types of pathogenic bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and yet it does not appear to have an adverse effect on gut probacteria. Lauric acid is therefore understood to be an effective substitute for antibiotics. 55 Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation
  56. 56. Perhaps the high content of lauric acid in BSF larvae explains why mortality in catfish ponds has been noted to drop dramatically when catfish were fed live larvae as a supplement to their normal feed. Dr. Hein Van Le of Vietnam, when feeding live larvae to catfish, observed a drop in mortality from 45% to 5%. Making biodiesel out of BSF lipids, as some tend to suggest, is an extremely low-grade use of valuable nutrients. 56 Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation
  57. 57. 57 If fresh putrescent waste is made available to them under the right conditions, BSF larvae often appear naturally from wild populations. In attracting BSF adults to a site to lay eggs, one should not let putrescent waste turn anaerobic. In tropical areas, BSF larvae usually appear within 7 to 10 days. The manual seeding of a bin or pod with young larvae is generally not necessary in a small-scale operation. Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation
  58. 58. 58 BSF residue constitutes an ideal substrate for red worms. In fact, red worms grow 2 to 3 times faster on BSF residue than on partially decomposed waste. BSF larvae digest fresh putrescent waste, something that red worms cannot do, and red worms digest the more recalcitrant cellulosic materials, something that larvae cannot do. Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation
  59. 59. 59 Together they form a perfect partnership, recovering all possible nutrients. Red worm castings constitute one of the best growing mediums for plants. They greatly reduce the need for fertilizers. Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation
  60. 60. A study in Connecticut (Lunt and Jacobson, 1944) reported worm castings increase the nutrient availability of the soil by 1.4 fold for calcium (Ca), 3.0 fold for magnesium (Mg), 11.2 fold for potassium (K), 7.4 fold for phosphorus, and 4.7 fold for nitrate- nitrogen (NO3--N). http://www.scribd.com/doc/30909297/Biochar-Article 60 Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation
  61. 61. 61 Red worms are commonly fed to shrimp in Vietnam to suppress disease. Chickens fed small quantities of red worms consume less feed and have a higher growth rate than chickens not receiving this supplement. Pigs in the wild thrive on insects and worms, and worms in the diets of pigs reduce the incidence of disease. Red worm castings sell in Vietnam for as much as $500 US dollars (10,000,000 VND) per ton. Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation
  62. 62. 62 Even though BSF larvae thrive quite well on food waste, fresh food waste is generally too valuable in nutrients to feed to larvae. It is best to feed it to scavenger and omnivore such as a pig. The feces of the pig is then fed to larvae, and the residue of the larvae is fed to red worms. In experiments done in the USA, it was observed that roughly 18% of the weight of fresh pig feces is transformed into live larvae. Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation
  63. 63. 63 When larvae eat fecal matter, there is no release of leachate. The urine of the pig is allowed to flow into a dry biomass bedding laced with biochar. We will soon experiment with feeding pig bedding to cows, with the feces and urine of the cow transformed in a similar manner. Food waste that has decomposed and can no longer serve as feed is, of course, best fed to BSF larvae and red worms. Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation
  64. 64. 64 Fresh food waste constitutes Type 1 waste, which ideally should be transformed into feed. Fecal material constitutes Type 2 waste which cannot be transformed into feed, but is an ideal substrate for BSF larvae and red worms. The incorporation of Type 2 waste into compost is not ideal, since larvae, red worms and vermicompost are far more valuable than compost. Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation
  65. 65. 65 And perhaps one of the worst things we can do is to transform Type 1 or Type 2 waste into biogas. If it is fuel we need, we should turn to Type 4 waste, non-putrescent, ligno-cellulosic waste of the lowest nutrient content (e.g. rice hulls, coffee husks, straw and sawdust). https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/22013094/Paper /Summaries/Gasification.pdf Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation
  66. 66. 66 The central idea here is to exploit waste for all its worth, and waste should be transformed at the highest possible level. To accomplish this, we must employ multiple, interrelated technologies that produce a variety of valuable products. This gives the highest economic return. It closely resembles the efficiency and complexity of what takes place within the natural world. Empowering the Poor through Waste Transformation

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