SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication Sat, 28 Feb 2015 19:15:53 +0000 Kunena 1.6 SuSanA - Forum en-gb Re: VUNA - Valorisation of Urine Nutrients in Africa (EAWAG, Switzerland, and South Africa) - by: scottchen The urine processor is very useful. I need it.
best regards
Resource recovery from excreta or faecal sludge Wed, 21 Jan 2015 21:58:09 +0000
Re: faecal reuse - building materials!? - by: joeturner
Apparently the faecal waste is turned to ash, which is then used in the bricks. Probably not the kind of practice which would be applicable in a developing country, but maybe the idea is not as unlikely as it first sounded.

The company is here:]]>
Resource recovery from excreta or faecal sludge Tue, 09 Dec 2014 11:02:28 +0000
faecal reuse - building materials!? - by: joeturner
The paper is here:

The paper lists various types of faecal reuse including fuel, feedstock for insects, biogas and soil conditioning. It also has a paragraph on the use in building materials.

It says:

Brick manufacturing is pervasive in Kampala, so the use of faecal sludge in building materials was pursued during interviews with brick manufacturers. However, there was a relatively negative perception among brick manufacturers with regard to this enduse. The main reasons given during interviews were concerns about consistent characteristics of faecal sludge, and the abundance of conventional raw materials negates the need for an alternative. This indicates that faecal sludge incorporation into building materials can be considered but would probably only be of interest in areas where raw materials are limited.

This seems rather unlikely (and undesirable) to me, is it a common practice anywhere that anyone is aware of?

I ought to add that using animal faeces in building construction is a common practice, including here in the UK in the past. I have never heard of anyone suggesting this is or should be a practice for human faeces, though.]]>
Resource recovery from excreta or faecal sludge Tue, 09 Dec 2014 10:53:59 +0000
Re: Nitrification reactor set up - by: winniek [Start of Page 4 of the discussion]

I will start with suspended biomass and ensure the biomass isn't washed out and recycling just incase.
Thanks a lot.]]>
Resource recovery from excreta or faecal sludge Sun, 31 Aug 2014 15:39:31 +0000
Re: Nitrification reactor set up - by: kudert Resource recovery from excreta or faecal sludge Sun, 31 Aug 2014 15:13:12 +0000 Re: Nitrification reactor set up - by: winniek Thanks for the attached and I have already read through the paper.
I was thinking of using this "hybrid membrane-aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) was
used for the nitrification experiment" as i believe i wont have easy access to the Kaldnes rings.
I have seen the reactor but if you have more pictures of it. I would be grateful as i will get a better understanding on the set-up]]>
Resource recovery from excreta or faecal sludge Sun, 31 Aug 2014 15:08:42 +0000
Re: Nitrification reactor set up - by: kudert 4+. Since nitrification lowers the pH value, this amount of ammonium is not lost during distillation (except for a very small fraction). I attach a paper, in which we describe the fate of ammonia during distillation in more detail.]]> Resource recovery from excreta or faecal sludge Sun, 31 Aug 2014 14:50:42 +0000 Re: Nitrification reactor set up - by: winniek did you anaylse the effluent N- concentrations, i.e. NH4+, NO2- and NO3- ? is so what was were there.
If the urine was partially nitrified does it mean only 50% of ammonium was converted to N03- . In that case what happened to the rest of the NH4+ when the effluent proceeded to the vacuum distiller]]>
Resource recovery from excreta or faecal sludge Sun, 31 Aug 2014 14:44:08 +0000
Re: Nitrification reactor set up - by: kudert
In our current system we use biofilm carriers. The fill rate is about 60%. The biofilm carriers are mixed by aeration and the oxygen concentration is therefore close to saturation. The maximum ammonia oxidation rate is about 400 gN/m3/d. The minimum hydraulic retention time can be calculated based on the ammonia concentration in the influent and the ammonia oxidation rate. For example, if the ammonia concentration in the influent is 4000 gN/m3/d, the hydraulic retention time will be 5 days, because half of the ammonia is oxidized.
The pH has to be kept in a narrow range by adjusting the influent rate. If the influent concentration and the temperature are constant, this can done by hand otherwise you might want to use a process controller, which keeps the pH in a narrow range of 0.1 units by switching the influent on and off. An optimal pH value is 6.
A detailed description of our pilot reactor can be downloaded at:

Let me know, if you need any additional information.
Resource recovery from excreta or faecal sludge Sun, 31 Aug 2014 13:16:48 +0000
Re: Nitrification reactor set up - by: winniek I am interested in carrying out a similar lab experiment and i would want to know more about the reactor set up that you used. What type of reactor, what was the flow rate the Hydraulic retention time , the volumes the concentration of the Dissolved oxygen. Basically the methodology and reactor set up. Thank you very much]]> Resource recovery from excreta or faecal sludge Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:43:01 +0000 Low-cost Decentralized Sanitary System for Treatment, Water and Resources Recovery (National University of Singapore) - by: muench
I would like to introduce to you today a sanitation research project that was recently carried out by the National University of Singapore (NUS) with funding by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Title of grant: Low-cost Decentralized Sanitary System for Treatment, Water and Resources Recovery

Subtitle: Tackling the sanitation challenge with water and energy reuse from human wastes

Name of lead organization: National University of Singapore

Primary contact at lead organization:
How Yong Ng, Associate Professor
Director, Centre for Water Research
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
National University of Singapore

Grantee location: Singapore

Developing country where the research is being or will be tested: India or Cambodia

Short description of the project:

Process flow diagram:

This toilet block integrates energy and water reuse in a single sanitary system. It uses biochar or animal dung to: i) dry feces (covered with sawdust) and convert dried feces into biochar under oxygen-deficit environment for subsequent combustion (i.e., energy recovery from feces); and ii) extract water from urine by boiling under reduced pressure conditions to produce potable-grade water after ion exchange resins and activated carbon treatment. The base component is a urine diversion dehydration toilet.

The diverted urine is directed to an evaporator, while the feces are collected on a metallic netted conveyor system. Any liquid from the feces and cleansing water were allowed to drip through the metallic netted conveyor system and be collected underneath in a container that houses an MFC for organic matter removal and electricity production to power a small ventilation fan for odor management.

The fecal liquid and cleaning water is then subjected to FO (Forward Osmosis) process to produce: 1) a diluted fertilizer solution from a concentrated stock solution; and 2) a concentrated fecal liquid and cleansing water stream that will be pumped to the evaporator. Using a mechanically operated metallic netted conveyor system (to avoiding direct contact with the feces), the solid feces is transferred into a solar dryer and then subsequently, into a feces combustion chamber for conversion into biochar.

In the meanwhile, the urine-boiling chamber is maintained in a vacuum at a desired negative pressure to assist easy boiling of the urine and fecal liquid at a lower temperature. Therefore, combustion heat from the feces is used to boil the urine and fecal liquid, and water is vaporized under vacuum condition and then condensed by circulating ambient-temperature water in a condenser coil. The condensed water is finally collected and passed through a water purification tank containing mixed exchange resins and activated carbon to produce highly purified water.

The goal of this project is to research and develop a decentralized pneumatic flushing urine-diversion dehydration community toilet block for five to six households with separate collection and treatment of urine and feces to recover water and nutrients. The toilet system will recover energy from feces combustion and clean water from advance adsorption desalination.

  • Objective 1: Construction, optimization and mechanization of pneumatic urine-diversion dehydration toilet.
  • Objective 2: Development and optimization of options for urine concentration and water recovery and disinfection
  • Objective 3: Development of feces collection/drying/combustion chamber

Start and end date: 6 June 2011 to 30 June 2014
Grant type: RTTC (Reinvent the Toilet Challenge) Round 1

The funding consisted of two grants:
The first grant started in June 2011, size US$ 276,251

The second grant started in March 2013, size US$ 1,157,107

Funding for this research currently ongoing (yes/no): No
Research or implementation partners: World Toilet Organization (to help miniaturise and think of the post technology business side)
Links, further readings – results to date:

Edit on 28 Nov. 2014:
Article about this project in IWA Water Wiki

Here you can see two videos of their exhibit at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair in Delhi in March 2014 which I also attended:

Project leader How Yong Ng in an interview with me, explaining the basics about this project:

Video of How Yong Ng giving a tour of their exhibit:

Further information is available in the two documents attached below.
Also the Technical Guides document from the Reinvent the Toilet Fair has two pages about this project on page 61-62:;type=2&id=2001

Here is a schematic of the prototpye displayed at the fair.

I hope you found this information interesting. If you have any comments or questions about their work, please don’t hesitate to ask your questions here on the forum.

Resource recovery from excreta or faecal sludge Fri, 18 Jul 2014 08:25:38 +0000
Re: NEWgenerator for recovery of nutrients, energy and water from excreta (Uni of South Florida, USA) - anaerobic membrane bioreactor (field tests now in Kerala, India) - by: KeithBell
How does the spent waste compare to aerobic compost in terms of nutrient value and microbial balance? I believe Julius here on the forum has stated the spent waste from anaerobic systems is inferior. And then from a microbial standpoint, it's been associated with chronic botulism in the environment, selecting out resistant organisms such as clostridium spores, protozoal cysts, worm ova and antibiotic resistant gram-negative bacteria. We may be skewing microbial balance in the wrong direction, reducing diversity.

My fear about this type of technology is that it condones business as usual, the mixing of waste with water, which I believe must come to an end.

I'm in Palm Beach County, Florida and a fan of science coming out of USF.]]>
Resource recovery from excreta or faecal sludge Fri, 20 Jun 2014 18:04:04 +0000
Re: Video from webinar 7 available Re: NEWgenerator (University of South Florida, USA) - by: Bincy Thank you for putting all the details together so meticulously .
Daniel, It is interesting to note that your webinar did evoke a number of interesting queries. We look forward to work with your team. As we did some initial site survey together, the community is enquiring on the next time we shall be coming back with eToilet and the treatment plant. As the monsoons are also nearing, they feel that the facility is pretty much urgent.

We sincerely believe that technologies be brought to the real field and test their efficacy among users. eToilet has gone through a number of product improvisation stages, purely based on user feedback .So thanks to the user community who helped us to shape a much robust eToilet when compared what we had three years. With partners like Daniel, we hope to bring in a new paradigm in human waste collection, processing and regeneration.]]>
Resource recovery from excreta or faecal sludge Tue, 13 May 2014 12:32:56 +0000
Re: VUNA - Valorisation of Urine Nutrients in Africa (EAWAG, Switzerland, and South Africa) - by: scottchen Thank your very much for your reply. The pilot project is acceptable. I will look at the TUN project as mentioned.
Resource recovery from excreta or faecal sludge Tue, 13 May 2014 04:37:55 +0000
Re: VUNA - Valorisation of Urine Nutrients in Africa (EAWAG, Switzerland, and South Africa) - by: kudert
Please find the answers to your questions below:

1. Costs of the reactor
We did a rough calculation based on the expenditures for the pilot plants in Dübendorf and Durban. Based on this calculation, a pilot plant costs about 200 EUR per person. Approximately half of this costs are for the distiller and the other half for the nitrification reactor, the process control and all other components. For example a pilot plant, which can serve 400 people would cost approximately 80,000.- EUR. However, this value should be taken with a grain of salt, because a pilot plant is substantially more expensive than an industrially produced standard reactor. We expect that the price will be significantly lower in the future.

2. Urine value chain
A final assessment of the urine value chain in the VUNA project cannot be given yet, because the research is not completed. However, you can find our current findings on our homepage:
In the STUN project ( we also investigated the direct use of urine as fertiliser. This can be a valuable option in rural areas, especially if drip fertigation systems are used.

Best regards, Kai]]>
Resource recovery from excreta or faecal sludge Mon, 12 May 2014 09:10:33 +0000