Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL): productive sanitation, faecal sludge management - research at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden
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TOPIC: Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL): productive sanitation, faecal sludge management - research at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL): productive sanitation, faecal sludge management - research at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden 29 Apr 2013 14:24 #4276

  • KimAndersson
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I had the opportunity to visit Cecilia Lalander and the research group at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences two weeks ago and hear more about their work on Black Soldier Flies and protein production for animal feed. It is impressive the capacity these have to reduce the dry mass (60-80%) and interesting how this approach could reduce the land application of fertilizers.

Best regards,
Kim Andersson
Kim Andersson
Stockholm Environment Institute
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Last Edit: 16 May 2013 20:46 by muench.

Re: Black soldier fly for sanitation 03 May 2013 14:41 #4307

  • Vinneras
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The research we have at our lab regarding black soldier fly treatment of toilet waste have been focused on protein production in low income countries (shortcutting the flow of nutrients as we don’t use all manure on the fields). Our two main research areas are: 1) development of continuous feeding systems; 2) evaluating the hygiene performance of different systems designs.
As of now we are working on lab scale, with a relatively broad perspective, evaluating management of both human and animal excreta with the BSF larvae.
According to the findings so far, the systems has been demonstrated to affect different organisms to varying degree (from not at all (Ascaris suum) to 7 log reduction within days (Salmonella spp.).
More information can be found in the following publication that will be available online soon:

Lalander, C., Diener, S., Magri, M., Zurbrügg, C., Lindström, A., Vinnerås, B. 2013. Faecal Sludge Management with the Larvae of the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) - From a Hygiene Aspect. Science of the Total Environment (In Press).

Research on the BSF treatment system is ongoing.

In the same project, we also work with vermicomposting for onsite manure management at small farms, with pilot scale trials in Kampala (Uganda), with the aim of protein production. The system process 5-10 kg manure per day and when managed properly it produces approx. 40 kg of worms within four months.

Re: Black soldier fly for sanitation 04 May 2013 14:16 #4316

  • JKMakowka
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Very interesting research for sure.
Who could I contact regarding the work done in Kampala? We are currently looking into disseminating these kind of sanitation innovations to our members in Uganda.

On an unrelated note: Have your tried using the fly larvae to treat chicken manure? In commercial chicken-farms a lot of that stuff in created at one place, and it is actually quite difficult to treat due to the high nitrogen load (birds don't produce urine). So combining food production for the birds with waste treatment would be a win-win situation.
Edit: www.hollowtop.com/finl_html/manureflies.htm seems to be a well tested technology option. Quite interesting from a IWRM point of view as it could reduce problems with the effluents from these farms here in Uganda.

Would it be possible to get some starter eggs from you, as I don't think those flies are very common here. How do you plan the distribution of "starter kits" for BSF composting anyways?
Krischan Makowka
WASH Delegate - Philippines
Last Edit: 04 May 2013 14:47 by JKMakowka.

Re: Black soldier fly for sanitation 06 May 2013 09:09 #4326

  • Vinneras
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We have mainly focused on treatment of human and pig manure, but there are other successful studies on chicken manure treatment previously. When treating the manure, it is important to have in mind the hygiene risk for transmitting diseases with the produced feed, as e.g. ascaris egg (an intestinal parasite) can be found inside the larvae. By not closing the loop totally, i.e. feeding chicken pre pupae from chicken manure, but rather having crossing flows, e.g. chicken feed from pig manure treatment and vice versa, the risk for disease transmission decreases considerably, esp as the main zoonotic pathogens like salmonella are inactivated by the treatment.
The contact in Uganda for the vermicomposting treatment is mr Allan Komakech at Makerere University contact email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Locally in Uganda have we not been working with BSF, as we still find to many outstanding questions remaining for pilot scale implementation from our side. The BSF fly egg we have used comes from Fibl in Switzerland , contact, Stamer Andreas contact email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Re: On-site sanitation based on bio-additives and pit design (LSTH, UK and Tanzania, South Africa and Vietnam) 14 May 2013 08:41 #4385

  • Vinneras
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The Abstract of the paper mentioned above, as it is published,

Lalander, C., Diener, S., Magri, M., Zurbrügg, C., Lindström, A., Vinnerås, B. 2013. Faecal Sludge Management with the Larvae of the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) - From a Hygiene Aspect. Science of the Total Environment 458-460, 312-318.

Inadequate and lacking sanitation and wastewater treatment systems can lead to the spreading of diarrhoeal diseases. One contributing factor in the lack of such treatment systems is the lack of economic incentives for stakeholders throughout the service chain. However, the organic fraction of the waste is high in valuable plant nutrients and could be reused in agriculture and as animal feed. For example, grown larvae of the
black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens L. (Diptera: Stratiomyidae), make an excellent protein source in animal feed, while the feeding activity of the larvae substantially reduces the dry mass of the treated material. This study examined the effect of black soldier fly larvae on the concentration of pathogenic microorganisms in human faeces and found a 6 log10 reduction in Salmonella spp. in human faeces in eight days, compared
with a b2 log10 reduction in the control. No increased reduction was observed for Enterococcus spp., bacteriophage ΦX174 or Ascaris suum ova.

Re: Black soldier fly for sanitation 16 May 2013 09:50 #4407

  • JKMakowka
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Vinneras wrote:

The contact in Uganda for the vermicomposting treatment is mr Allan Komakech at Makerere University contact email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Locally in Uganda have we not been working with BSF, as we still find to many outstanding questions remaining for pilot scale implementation from our side.


Mr. Komakech informed me that the project ended in April (and that he has since left to do a PhD in Sweden), but that there might be some ongoing activities under supervision of Dr. Charles Niwagaba (who seems to be involved in a lot of sanitation related activities here in Kampala).

Are there any more precise plans now to bring the tiger worm or BSF lavae to Uganda in the near future? I would like to include an exposure visit to these innovation in our next NGO sanitation working-group meeting if possible.
Krischan Makowka
WASH Delegate - Philippines

Re: Black soldier fly for sanitation 21 May 2013 23:48 #4460

  • Roshan
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Hi Bijorn,

Can we plan to test BSF in Bangladesh ? Pls advise.

Roshan
Roshan Shrestha,PhD
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Global Development Division
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Re: Black soldier fly for sanitation 26 May 2013 20:08 #4506

  • Vinneras
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Hello Roshan good to hear from you
I think that the BSF could be a good way forward for latrine management. As far as I know at the moment there are some tests performed with batch systems for treatment of latrine in South Africa. Our focus is to develop a continuous system, so that it works like any other biological digester. 

Our research are at a stadium where I see pilot scale testing in field being 1-2years awayu as there are several technical obstacles to manage before we hit the field and I would be really interested in collaboration with you aiming for implementation in Bangladesh.

Re: Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) as a product from productive sanitation and for faecal sludge management 03 Jun 2013 09:12 #4574

  • joeturner
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It would be interesting to know more about the biology of the black soldier fly larvae. Are we talking about a single species of insect? How well does it compete with other fly larvae? If you are in an area where it is indigenous (as suggested by Emilio below), is it possible to easily cultivate the larvae without also cultivating other species? It seems to me that the most likely safe scenario is cultivating a monoculture of the species in controlled conditions to inoculate sludge, but possibly I am wrong about that.

Regarding Björn's paper - when it is said that there is reduction in Salmonella, what was tested - the sludge or the insects? Are there cross contamination issues relating to feeding black soldier fly larvae to animals or humans?
Previously trained and worked as a Soil Scientist and worked on projects composting sewage sludge.

Re: Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) as a product from productive sanitation and for faecal sludge management 16 Jun 2013 21:03 #4739

  • Vinneras
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In the tested material, the latrine waste contained salmonella, and not the flies at the start. After eight days we have noticed a reduction of 99.99999% of the salmonella in the material. As there is highly contaminated material consumed by the larvae there is a risk for spreading the diseases. When the system is short cut by producing animal feed from the manure, without field passage there is an increased risk of transmitting diseases. The major risk is the zoonotic diseases, the one that transfer between species e.g. salmonella. Other pathogens can be managed by not treating manure from the species that the produced feed is intended for.
Wen introducing a manure based protein production system, the risk of disease transmission has to be evaluated and compared to other existing systems and the surrounding society. This will also influence the management of the products prior to usage, e.g. decide if heat or ammonia treatment is required prior to feeding and fertilizing with the products.
Last Edit: 16 Jun 2013 21:33 by muench. Reason: typo corrected
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