Update of SuSanA WG 5 fact sheet (food security & productive sanitation)

  • sjoerdnienhuys
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  • Technical advisor on low-cost sanitation, worked for Aga Khan in the Himalayas, PUM in Asia,/Afica and Latin America, SNV in Nepal, DGIS in Latin America UNhabitat in Africa, and Waste /Gouda in India on ECO sanitation and biogas
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Re: Update of SuSanA WG 5 fact sheet (food security & productive sanitation)

Related to urban processing of human excreta and kitchen waste and the production of fertilizers for food security, I feel that a compact construction design is needed which can be fitted into existing buildings (floor height up to 240 cm). The unit needs to process the excreta and kitchen/food waste and produce biogas (cooking) as well as urine and pathogen free slurry. The combination of shredded kitchen waste, human faeces and carbon fibre toilet paper for dry anal cleaning will improve the biogas output. All families in the same building need to use the unit. Solarpower from the roof can speed up fermentation. Since in urban environment people live in 4-5 stories high, the unit can be constructed in the groundfloor, while the roof is used for rainwater collection, further composting, vermiculture and hydroponics. Part of the grey/rain water can be used in the hydroponic foodproduction.
Given the large numbers of suburbans that need to be upgraded, commercial production of the unit may be feasible when made and installed in smaller components that fit into existing buildings. See sketch.

Sjoerd from The Netherlands.
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Some of my work on: www.nienhuys.info
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  • canaday
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  • A biologist working toward sustainability
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Re: Update of SuSanA WG 5 fact sheet (food security & productive sanitation)

Hi Sjoerd,

Thanks for your urban concept drawing. My favorite aspects of it include the plants growing on the outside of vertical walls and the use of solar driers.

Please allow me to make a few comments and suggestions.

1. Why not put the solar drier (or oven) on the roof to economize space on the land?
2. The vertical garden could receive a percentage of the urine and greywater.
3. I would not prefer to mix toilet and kitchen wastes, to keep the fecally dangerous material as small as possible. This mixing could happen after the feces are made safe by one method or another.
4. Some of the features are hard to understand, so it may be good to make a clearer draft, possibly including an accompanying text with explanations.
5. How can the biogas operation be in the penthouse?

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday

Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
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  • sjoerdnienhuys
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  • Technical advisor on low-cost sanitation, worked for Aga Khan in the Himalayas, PUM in Asia,/Afica and Latin America, SNV in Nepal, DGIS in Latin America UNhabitat in Africa, and Waste /Gouda in India on ECO sanitation and biogas
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Re: Update of SuSanA WG 5 fact sheet (food security & productive sanitation)

Hi, Chris.
Some of the details are not worked out in the small sketch.
To answer your observations.
1. The solar on/above the roof is PV as one needs electricity for a heating element in the base of the biogas reactor to create thermophilic fermentation. This will substantially speed up the digestion and allows the reactor to remain small and yet discharge pathologically purified effluent.
1. The solar drier is to dehydrate the liquid effluent to make dry compost. This requires quite some space and can be a small business outside: transport, drying, packing from many units is more efficient than each for itself. The roof space is needed for hydroponic vegetable growing.
2. Grey water and urine can indeed be used in the roofgarden and facade gardens. I would imagine that grey water is preferred and urine is cristallized off-site also as a business.
3. The kitchen waste and woodfibre toilet paper are required to balance the C/N value of the slurry for optimization of gas output. Once the faecal matter has gone through the double biogas reactor under thermophillic conditions it is phatologically clean. One can apply the slurry also directly to agriculture. Further sundrying of the effluent (outside the village) will produce transportable bags of compost.
4. If someone will implement the proposal I will work it out.
5. Biogas operation is in the groundfloor (compartments) only. From the upperfloors the piping goes down.
I worked three years in biogasprojects.

Sjoerd from The Netherlands.
Pronounce: 'Sured'
Some of my work on: www.nienhuys.info
for correspondence: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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