Developing fortified excreta pellets for use in agriculture - and From Waste to Food - Phase 1 and 2 (IWMI, Ghana)
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Developing fortified excreta pellets for use in agriculture - and From Waste to Food - Phase 1 and 2 (IWMI, Ghana) 14 May 2013 15:07 #4391

  • Ekane
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  • Nelson Ekane
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Olufunke Cofie and Josiane Nikiema of International Water Management Institute (IWMI) are developing pellets from human excreta for use in agriculture. Outlined below are details of their project.

Project title: Developing fortified excreta pellets for use in agriculture
Short description of the project:
Excreta are rich source of essential plant nutrients and organic matter that can be recycled as fertilizer-cum-soil conditioner – an effect not shared by chemical fertilizers and of dare need in tropical soils. While the principles that underlie the use of excreta in agriculture and associated benefits are known, the wide use of excreta is still constrained by factors such as the cost of transportation and handling as well as negative perception of communities with regards to using FS in agriculture. To address both challenges, this project hypothesized that producing excreta pellets could be the solution. The project explored ways to produce safe, efficient and cost effective fertilizer pellets from FS. The project focused on developing a marketable product from this waste, and explored options for pelletization of fecal sludge composts to increase; marketability, general acceptability, ease of handling and on-farm distribution, and to improve fertilizer use efficiency and affordability. The project involved a multi-disciplinary team of economists, environmental scientists, agronomists and engineers. The collective name for our various excreta based fertilizer formulations is referred to as Fortifer.

Objective: The main goal of the project is to convert excreta into safe and efficient fertilizer pellets that could enhance agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan Africa and make fecal sludge reuse attractive and profitable for private entrepreneurs.

Implementation process (attached)

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Results:
The fecal sludge was initially dried, to remove excess water and sanitized through gamma irradiation (I-DFS), composting (C-DFS) and co-composting with sawdust (C-SDFS). For C-DFS, enrichment was performed through addition of nitrogenous fertilizer, to raise the level of nitrogen to 3% (EC-DFS). Each of these materials was then individually used for the production of cylindrical pellets. A binding material consisting of clay or cassava starch, pregelatinized or irradiated, at concentrations between 0 and 10 % in weight was added prior to pelletization. Equipment used in pelletization process was constructed in Ghana.

This study revealed that optimal moisture level, needed in the pelletizer’s feed, is highly dependent on material type with the lowest water amounts required for EC-DFS and I-DFS and the highest ones for C-SDFS. It is also affected by binder type and concentration, clay and lower concentrations requiring more water than irradiated starch and higher concentrations, respectively. The pellet’s length distribution was strongly affected by the starch pretreatment method as well as the type of pelletized material. Stability of pellets was affected by type of pelletized material, binding material’s concentration and moisture content. Producing dried pellets ensure reduction in the volume of fertilizer required in the field (50-80 % of the initial volume).


Video of her presentation at the FSM2-Conference in Durban, South Africa:



Conference presentation slides:
www.susana.org/images/documents/07-cap-d...kiema-iwmi-ghana.pdf

Conference paper:
www.susana.org/docs_ccbk/susana_download/2-1624-nikiema.pdf

Documents in SuSanA library:
www.susana.org/lang-en/library/library?v...p;type=2&id=1781

Developing country where the research has been tested: Ghana
Start and end date: May 2011 to April 2013
Grant type: GCE Round 6
Funding for this research currently ongoing: No

Research or implementation partners:
• Tema Metropolitan Assembly, Ghana
• Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Accra, Ghana
• Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI), Accra, Ghana
• Valley View University, Accra, Ghana
• University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Best regards,

Nelson
Nelson Ekane
Research Associate
Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
Kräftriket 2B
SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
nelson.ekane@sei-international.org
www.sei-international.org
Tel: +46 (0) 8 674 7070
Mobile: +46 (0)737078631
Fax: +46 (0) 8 674 7020
Last Edit: 11 Dec 2013 14:43 by muench.

Re: Developing fortified excreta pellets for use in agriculture project (IWMI, Ghana) 21 May 2013 20:22 #4456

  • Ekane
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Dear Funke and Josiane,

Ruth Cottingham has sent comments and questions regarding your project. She wrote:

“The Pollution Research Group at the University of KwaZulu-Natal is currently working on another Gates-funded project to carry out an economic evaluation of another pelletising process (LaDePa) for faecal sludge. A spreadsheet-based model is being developed to compare the whole life cycle cost of pelletisation with incineration as a disposal/reuse route.
Your work sounds very related to this and I would be really interested to know more. Are you able to share any reports resulting from it with us? We are particularly interested in understanding the relevant business models and economic inputs that apply to contexts outside of South Africa, in order to build the model with a structure that can be applied in multiple contexts.”

It is great that your projects are similar. Sharing findings and experiences from both projects would indeed be very useful.

Best regards,

Nelson
Nelson Ekane
Research Associate
Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
Kräftriket 2B
SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
nelson.ekane@sei-international.org
www.sei-international.org
Tel: +46 (0) 8 674 7070
Mobile: +46 (0)737078631
Fax: +46 (0) 8 674 7020
Last Edit: 21 May 2013 20:25 by Ekane.

Re: Developing fortified excreta pellets for use in agriculture project (IWMI, Ghana) 05 Jun 2013 15:57 #4615

  • Funke
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  • Researcher at IWMI, West Africa. Interested in the exploitation of the agriculture-water-sanitation nexus for livelihood improvements in rural-urban interface. With my team, we have developed faecal sludge-based fertilizer materials
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Dear Ruth,

Thanks for your comments. Yes our work is related to yours and we have shared ideas with Chris Buckley previously. The machinery involved in our case is less sophisticated than yours. Moreover, our raw material is faecal sludge from septic tanks, so much more ‘liquid’ than pit latrine sludge. You can find a paper and presentation on the FSM2 page on this website. For the business model aspect, we are now testing that component in the new phase which started 2 months ago. So we do not have any information on that yet but we would surely share emerging results on this platform as we progress.
Cheers. Funke
Olufunke Cofie
Senior Researcher, Resource Recovery and Reuse Group
Head, IWMI West Africa Office.
www.iwmi.cgiar.org/research/projects

Re: Developing fortified excreta pellets for use in agriculture project (IWMI, Ghana) 17 Oct 2013 13:21 #6023

  • dorothee.spuhler
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Dear Funke

Aside the LaDePe project, your work sounds also related to the activities carried out under the FaME project (see here: www.sandec.ch/forschung/sandec/gruppen/E...ts_ewm/fame/index_EN): "market demand and calorific value studies have been conducted in Ghana, Uganda, and Senegal, reuse-based financial-flow models are being developed".
Do you have some preliminary result of the economical evaluation of your processes and can you say something about the market potential?
It may be interesting to compare different sludge treatment and end-use processes in terms of their financial viability.

Best regards
Dorothee
Dorothee Spuhler
WG1 Co-lead
Working with Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management (SSWM) based at at seecon, Switzerland
www.sswm.info / www.seecon.ch
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Re: Developing fortified excreta pellets for use in agriculture project (IWMI, Ghana) 09 Dec 2013 13:59 #6646

  • Funke
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  • Researcher at IWMI, West Africa. Interested in the exploitation of the agriculture-water-sanitation nexus for livelihood improvements in rural-urban interface. With my team, we have developed faecal sludge-based fertilizer materials
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Dear Dorothee,

We are working on the market potential and will surely share the results on this platform when we are through.


Kind Regards,

Funke
Olufunke Cofie
Senior Researcher, Resource Recovery and Reuse Group
Head, IWMI West Africa Office.
www.iwmi.cgiar.org/research/projects

Scaling out the Recovery of Nutrients and Organic Matter from Faecal Sludge for Food Production in Ghana: From Waste to Food (WaFo) 09 Dec 2013 16:13 #6647

  • Funke
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  • Researcher at IWMI, West Africa. Interested in the exploitation of the agriculture-water-sanitation nexus for livelihood improvements in rural-urban interface. With my team, we have developed faecal sludge-based fertilizer materials
  • Posts: 7
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From Waste to Food, a GCE Phase II project started in Ghana in 2013 following the development of fortified excreta Pellets in the country (GCE Phase I result). The project is funded jointly by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), UK Department for International Development (DFID) and Grand Challenges Canada (GCC).

Our previous studies resulted in different faecal sludge (FS)-based fertilizer formulations (composted, enriched or pelletized) which we collectively describe as Fortifer.

Title of grant:
Scaling out the Recovery of Nutrients and Organic Matter from Faecal Sludge for Food Production in Ghana: From Waste to Food (WaFo)

Name of lead organization: IWMI (International Water Management Institute)
Primary contact at lead organization: Josiane Nikiema ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or Olufunke Cofie ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

Grantee location: Accra, Ghana

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

Goal(s):
The overall goal of WaFo project is to commercialize the Fortifier technology for agriculture in a manner that improves the sustainability of the sanitation value chain by generating a positive revenue stream, which measurably improves fecal sludge management in the city.

Short description of the project:
To achieve the goal, we will construct a plant that can produce up to 1,000 tons of Fortifer per year in a selected Ghanaian city. The project will establish appropriate public-private partnership and detailed business plan for Fortifer. It will secure the necessary certification from the government and come up with a marketing plan for Fortifer in Ghana.

Objectives: embedded above in the description

Start and end date: April 2013 – March 2015

Grant type: GCE Round 6 Phase 2 and UK Department for International Development (DFID) and Grand Challenges Canada (GCC).

Grant size: $1,100,000
The BMGF part of the grant is USD 300,000 (www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quic...s/2013/03/OPP1083131)

Research or implementation partners:
  • IWMI
  • Training Research and Networking for Development (TREND Group) responsible for PPP facilitation and partner negotiations
  • A Municipal Assembly which through its Waste Management Department, will be responsible for FS Management and institutionalization of FS recycling
  • The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) of Ghana for promotion of Fortifer use through extension services and training of farmers in Fortifer application,
  • Fortifer Production Company (ProCom) to be determined, responsible for FS collection, treatment and Fortifer production.

Project website where results will be uploaded in the future:
www.iwmi.cgiar.org/research/projects/sho...cts/?C=072-06-01-GAT

Current state of affairs:
We have completed preliminary studies on the selection of focus city and appropriate business partner and public -private partnership. Activities on marketing, product certification and process optimization are on-going. Results will be shared as available.

If you have any questions, please ask them here.
Olufunke Cofie
Senior Researcher, Resource Recovery and Reuse Group
Head, IWMI West Africa Office.
www.iwmi.cgiar.org/research/projects
Last Edit: 02 Jun 2014 11:07 by muench.

FW: Phase 2 19 Dec 2013 10:42 #6749

  • Funke
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  • Researcher at IWMI, West Africa. Interested in the exploitation of the agriculture-water-sanitation nexus for livelihood improvements in rural-urban interface. With my team, we have developed faecal sludge-based fertilizer materials
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Dear all,

For those of you who have an interest in this work that we are doing in Ghana, there are now two documents about our project available online which give you more details on what I have posted so far.

These are:
  • our final report from Phase 1 and
  • a detailed project brief for the current Phase 2 (the project brief describes our planned activities, milestones and outcomes).

You find them both here in the SuSanA library: susana.org/lang-en/library/library?view=...p;type=2&id=1781

These are the 5 outcomes that we are working towards now:
  • Outcome 1: PPP formed with demonstrated co-funding at 50% of total lifecycle costs
  • Outcome 2: By end of the project, the project has secured off-take contracts for 50% of the production of certified Fortifer
  • Outcome 3: Demonstrate that the implementation of the Fortifer plant results in high increase in volumes of treated sludge in the city while costs of sludge management are reduced significantly compared to conventional scenario
  • Outcome 4: Proven and replicable business and technology solution established
  • Outcome 5: Project is effectively managed to deliver on agreed outcomes by end of year 2 (Management and Coordination)

If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to ask. If you are based in Ghana, feel free to visit us when in Accra.

Regards,
Funke
Olufunke Cofie
Senior Researcher, Resource Recovery and Reuse Group
Head, IWMI West Africa Office.
www.iwmi.cgiar.org/research/projects
Last Edit: 19 Dec 2013 09:47 by muench.

Re: Developing fortified excreta pellets for use in agriculture - and From Waste to Food - Phase 1 and 2 (IWMI, Ghana) 12 Feb 2014 10:42 #7349

  • njosiane
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Hello All,

If you want to hear more from our project and ask us questions, please join us for the upcoming webinar (number 6) on “productive sanitation”.

We will present on "Large scale production and commercialization of Fortifer - a fertilizer manufactured from faecal sludge - in Ghana", By Olufunke Cofie and Josiane Nikiema(IWMI-Ghana), IWMI (International Water Management Institute, West Africa Office, Accra, Ghana)

The webinar will take place on Tuesday 25 February 2014, 16:30 - 17:15
(CET - Central European Time; time converter to find your local time: www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html)

More details of the webinar, and on the other presenters, are available here on the forum: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/139-in...5-february-2014#7239

There is no need to download any software to attend (simply go to this website: seint.adobeconnect.com/seiwebinar/). However, you must obtain the password to enter the room. To obtain the password, please e-mail Elisabeth von Muench: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

We look forward to seeing you on 25 February!
Funke & Josiane.
Dr. Josiane Nikiema
Researcher – Environmental Sciences
-------------------------------------------------
International Water Management Institute
West Africa Office
PMB CT 112, Cantonments
Accra, Ghana
Phone: (+233) 302 784 753/754
Fax: (+233) 302 784 752
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Last Edit: 12 Feb 2014 11:13 by muench.

Re: Developing fortified excreta pellets for use in agriculture - and From Waste to Food - Phase 1 and 2 (IWMI, Ghana) 12 Mar 2014 14:50 #7759

  • muench
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Dear all,

This is my second write-up of a presentation at the sixth SuSanA-SEI webinar:
For the benefit of readers with slow internet connection (or unable to view Youtube videos), I am providing you here with a write-up of the presentation by Josiane Nikiema and the discussion on 25 February 2014 during webinar number 6 (*).

The topic of her presentation was:

Large scale production and commercialization of Fortifer - a fertilizer manufactured from faecal sludge - in Ghana


By Josiane Nikiema (IWMI-Ghana), IWMI (International Water Management Institute, West Africa Office, Accra, Ghana)

You can watch Josiane's presentation here (it is 8 minutes long): (**)



Powerpoint slides from her presentation are available here:
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Some key points from her presentation according to my notes:
  1. Slide 2 shows that they started already in the year 2000 (that’s 14 years ago! It shows that it pays off to be patient in sanitation…). From 2001 onwards, they had their first pilot plant in Kumasi, Ghana, and soon after they also started testing different ways to enrich the produced fertiliser.
  2. They have had quite a few donors over the years (also shown in slide 2), currently the funding comes from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, DFID (from UK) and GCC (Grand Challenges Canada).
  3. Right now they are trying to implement a full-scale production plant targeting 500 tons of product (Fortifer) per year.
  4. This Fortifer is the generic name for various fertiliser formulations (explained in her slides).
  5. The Fortifer is made from raw faecal sludge which they receive in liquid form. The first step is to remove excess liquid by drying beds. The excess liquid needs to be treated in some type of wastewater treatment plant, e.g. ponds.
  6. From previous research, they are confident that “we know how to make sure that the compost is safe by the end of the processing” (I can hear Joe Turner (forum.susana.org/forum/profile/userid-2608) saying: “how can you be sure; evidence, please!?”) – see reference below...
  7. The pellets are one of the high quality products that they can produce (see photo on slide 3 to the right). It is made from compost with the steps: grinding, enriching, adding binder to facilitate formation of pellets, pelletisation, drying. Then it can be applied in agriculture.
  8. Right now they are busy setting up a PPP (public private partnership), see slide 6. The public entity is TMA (Tema Municipal Authority) who will be responsibe to facilitate access to land and to faecal sludge.
  9. The private entity (they have already selected one) would bring all the financial resources for operating and maintaining the plant; they would also be responsible for marketing of the product.
  10. The project funding from the donors will bring financial support to construct the facility (neither TMA nor the private company would have the means to do it on their own).
  11. Expected revenues are: selling the compost, pellets or other fertilisers; and also the tipping fee from the truck operators that they normally have to pay when they discharge faecal sludge at a treatment plant in Ghana.
  12. They also have an advisory team: this is made up of high level people from different sectors in the country.

We had a short verbal discussion on Josiane’s presentation, which you can listen to in this video here at this point:

youtu.be/dKE7OSz5VKM?t=7m14s

The question was by Laura Kimani: How long is composting time before pelletization and which and how much other organic feedstock is mixed into the fecal sludge during co-composting?

Answer by Josiane (see also chat below): “3 months of composting on average; we add saw dust, market waste, food waste to the faecal sludge for composting.”

For most of the discussion we used the chat function, as that was actually more efficient and faster. Due to the fact that the chat was recorded, it makes it easy for me: I just copy the chat recording below (I have asked the people concerned, i.e. the participants, and they agreed with this):

  • Fredrick: Good presentation from Ghana. It would be interesting to know how project overcame regulation barriers.
  • Fredrick: (Regulations on re-use, if any)
  • Carol McCreary: Solid pit material? Because latrine no longer in use? Or UDDT?
  • Funke: Generally re-use is accepted in the sanitation policy of Ghana provided it is safe. One of the expected outcome of our current project is to have FORTIFER registered and certified as a fertilizer material in Ghana
  • Fredrick: @Funke: Thanks for response.

  • Laura Kimani: How long is composting time before pelletization and which and how much other organic feedstock is mixed into the fecal sludge during co-composting?
  • Funke: Composting time to maturity is about 3 months
  • Funke: Laura, we mix fecal sludge with organic market waste or saw dust

  • Andrew Jones: Funke, do you have to worry about heavy metal contamination?
  • Laura Kimani: Besides Heavy metals, which other compost quality parameters are you testing your product for?
  • Fredrick: Funke: Who defines 'safe'?
  • Funke: Andrew, we don’t have to 'worry' about heavy metals but we analyse them anyway to be sure. We use sludge from household septic thank and from public toilets
  • Funke: Laura. for compost quality parameters, we measure C, N, EC, temperature, and several other parameters in the time past to establish the procedures. subsequently we stick to helminth eggs, nitorgen, carbon, temperature.

  • Fredrick: Funke: That leaves out sludge from pit latrines, or are they seldom used as a technology?
  • Mohammad Mojtabaei: chemical hazard , biological hazard , parasite eggs and larvae for both operator, environment and users

  • Laura Kimani: @ Funke: How do you mix and turn your feedstock?
  • Funke: Laura, we mix manually with shovels and workers wear gloves + nose masks

  • Laura Kimani: What's the NPK of your final product?
  • Funke: I will provide some links here for additional information
  • Laura Kimani: Thanks so much Funke!
  • Funke: Laura, depending on the type of FORTIFER (enriched or not enriched) we have different values

  • Funke: Laura, you may check out this for more information: Cofie Olufunke, et.al (2009). Co-composting of faecal sludge and organic solid waste for agriculture: Process dynamics. Water Research 43: 4665-4675.
  • Funke: Laura, and this also. Nikiema, Josiane, Cofie, Olufunke, Impraim, Robert; Adamtey, N. 2013. Processing of fecal sludge to fertilizer pellets using a low-cost technology in Ghana. Environment and Pollution, 2(4): 70-87.
  • Laura Kimani: Thanks so much Funke I will check it out. It would be great to be in touch in future.

  • Jeremy Kohlitz: Funke, thank you for your and Josiane's presentation. How do you deal with large solids (e.g. pieces of rubbish) in the pit latrine sludge before you apply it to the drying beds?
  • Funke: Jeremy, thanks. we are not using pit latrine sludge
  • Funke: Jeremy, again we use sludge from septic tanks, discharged into the drying beds.
  • Jeremy Kohlitz: Thank you for clarifying, Funke. I missed that part!
  • Funke: Yes, the time was too short. If you need additional information, do not hesitate to get back to us

  • Ofosu Budu: @Funke. What is your view about enriching the compost with N to about 5% N and P to meet the soil and nutrient demands in tropical soils
  • Funke: Ofosu, indeed, we can enrich with N, P or K depending on the nutrient requirements. so far we did enrichment with N because we were targeting crops that require a lot of N. This year we are also starting some enrichment with P and K. We can modify the FORTIFER formulation depending on the need

  • Dorothee Spuhler: @Funke: How much time does the treatment in the drying bed take and what is your moisture content before and after?
  • Richard (Chip) Fisher: @ Josiane and Funke: Do you dry the waste prior to pelletization? If so, how?
  • Funke: Dorothee, dewatering on the drying bed can take up to 2 weeks
  • Funke: Dorothee, you can check this also: Cofie, et al. (2006) Solid-liquid separation of faecal sludge using drying beds in Ghana: Implications for nutrient recycling in urban agriculture. Water Research 40: 75-82

I am summarising here the publications that Funke mentioned (impressive publication list (I know this is just a selection!); however pity they are not in open access journals):
  • Cofie, et al. (2006) Solid-liquid separation of faecal sludge using drying beds in Ghana: Implications for nutrient recycling in urban agriculture. Water Research 40: 75-82
  • Cofie Olufunke, et.al (2009). Co-composting of faecal sludge and organic solid waste for agriculture: Process dynamics. Water Research 43: 4665-4675.
  • Nikiema, Josiane, Cofie, Olufunke, Impraim, Robert; Adamtey, N. (2013). Processing of fecal sludge to fertilizer pellets using a low-cost technology in Ghana. Environment and Pollution, 2(4): 70-87. www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ep/art...download/28987/17903

Regarding publications, Funke wrote to me later the following:

++++++++++++++++
Yes, you can include the SuSanA case study (Co-composting of faecal sludge and organic solid waste Kumasi, Ghana, see: susana.org/lang-en/case-studies?view=ccb...mp;type=2&id=113). The plant is no longer there though but the experience/content is valid.

Indeed, the publications I mentioned in the chat and the appendix of the reports have copyright issues but the information I have provided should allow access to the abstracts through google search.

We are working on a series of downloadable publications which we plan to share very soon.
Hope this helps.
Kind regards
Funke

+++++++++++++++++

I hope you found this write-up useful (particularly if Youtube is banned in your country). Please don’t hesitate to put any follow-up questions, comments or clarifications into this thread. Thanks again to Josiane and Funke for preparing and giving this presentation at this webinar, and for answering all the questions!

Regards,
Elisabeth


(*) More information about these webinars is available in this thread here:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/139-in...n-now-available#7519

A Playlist with all the videos from our webinars so far is available here:
www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0gMdVBup...ymOPomtqL_XYT5YtLTSK

(**) If you have any problems with displaying the videos, please take a look at this FAQ for a possible solution:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/135-qu...--but-it-doesnt-work
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant
Frankfurt, Germany
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Twitter: @EvMuench
Website: www.ostella.de
Member of SuSanA (www.susana.org)
Last Edit: 12 Mar 2014 15:10 by muench.

Re: Developing fortified excreta pellets for use in agriculture - and From Waste to Food - Phase 1 and 2 (IWMI, Ghana) 12 Mar 2014 15:22 #7762

  • muench
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Dear Josiane and Funke,

While writing up the above information about your presentation during webinar 6, I had 3 follow-up questions with some sub-questions:

(1)
Fredrick's question in the chat was missed out:

Fredrick: Funke: That leaves out sludge from pit latrines, or are they seldom used as a technology?


I had also wondered about solid waste. Are you strictly taking faecal sludge from septic tanks which are downstream of flush or pour-flush toilets and therefore you can be quite certain that there is no solid waste in the faecal sludge (not even menstrual hygiene products? Condoms? Toilet paper etc.?). What fraction of the city's population is connected to such septic tanks? Which city are you actually planning to build this treatment plant, is it in Tema (since you mentioned TMA in one of your slides). Why Tema and not Accra or Kumasi? (information about Tema: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tema)

(2)

About my Point 5 above
5. The Fortifer is made from raw faecal sludge which they receive in liquid form. The first step is to remove excess liquid by drying beds. The excess liquid needs to be treated in some type of wastewater treatment plant, e.g. ponds.


My question: will the operation of such ponds be included in the capital and O&M costs for your Fortifer production plant? If not then who will take care of it? What is your experience with treating this excess liquid in ponds? What effluent quality are you achieving in those ponds?

(3)

About my point 10 above:

10. The project funding from the donors will bring financial support to construct the facility (neither TMA nor the private company would have the means to do it on their own).


My question: Does that mean that also future Fortifer production plants would rely on outside donor support? Or would you expect that financing of such a production plant will become easier once the process is proven?


Greetings,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant
Frankfurt, Germany
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Twitter: @EvMuench
Website: www.ostella.de
Member of SuSanA (www.susana.org)

Answers to questions about Fortifer, resulting from webinar 6. 02 May 2014 02:11 #8409

  • Funke
  • CONTACT
  • Researcher at IWMI, West Africa. Interested in the exploitation of the agriculture-water-sanitation nexus for livelihood improvements in rural-urban interface. With my team, we have developed faecal sludge-based fertilizer materials
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Hi Elisabeth,

Find some responses below and sorry for the delay.

Regards
Funke

++++++++++++++++++

Fredrick's question in the chat was missed out:
Fredrick: Funke: That leaves out sludge from pit latrines, or are they seldom used as a technology?

Pit latrines are rarely used in urban Ghana. They are more prevalent in the rural areas and the sludge is unavailable for use. An improved pit latrine popularly known as Kumasi Ventilated Improved Pit latrines (KVIP) are often used in some public toilets. The sludge are stored in septic tanks and can be collected for use.

I had also wondered about solid waste. Are you strictly taking faecal sludge from septic tanks which are downstream of flush or pour-flush toilets and therefore you can be quite certain that there is no solid waste in the faecal sludge (not even menstrual hygiene products? Condoms? Toilet paper etc.?). What fraction of the city's population is connected to such septic tanks? Which city are you actually planning to build this treatment plant, is it in Tema (since you mentioned TMA in one of your slides). Why Tema and not Accra or Kumasi? (information about Tema: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tema)

Faecal sludge is taken from pour-flush toilets. The plant is planned for Tema Metropolitan Area (TMA) within TMA many households and public toilet facilities are connected to septic tank .

We carried out a prefeasibility study of 5 cities (excluding Accra and Kumasi where there are already other arrangements for waste management). We settled for Tema as the most favourable in terms of:
• availability of raw materials
• willingness of municipality to contribute to the project
• willingness of our private sector partner to work in the city as well as their capacity to sell the products in the city.



5. "The Fortifer is made from raw faecal sludge which they receive in liquid form. The first step is to remove excess liquid by drying beds. The excess liquid needs to be treated in some type of wastewater treatment plant, e.g. ponds."
My question: will the operation of such ponds be included in the capital and O&M costs for your Fortifer production plant? If not then who will take care of it? What is your experience with treating this excess liquid in ponds? What effluent quality are you achieving in those ponds?

Not included in the capital O&M costs for our Fortifer because there are existing ponds in the treatment plant. The cost of O&M is borne by the municipality that manages the existing treatment plant


10." The project funding from the donors will bring financial support to construct the facility (neither TMA nor the private company would have the means to do it on their own)".
My question: Does that mean that also future Fortifer production plants would rely on outside donor support? Or would you expect that financing of such a production plant will become easier once the process is proven?

I can imagine that financing will become easier but in the short term, some form of support is necessary.
Olufunke Cofie
Senior Researcher, Resource Recovery and Reuse Group
Head, IWMI West Africa Office.
www.iwmi.cgiar.org/research/projects
Last Edit: 02 May 2014 08:46 by muench.
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