Technologies for using resources in waste

Last changed: 27 March 2020
Students in the laboratory analysing the hygiene in waste treatment reactors
Picture from a student report in the course

Are you interested in a sustainable waste management and food production? Recirculating nutrients, energy and organic matter give a more sustainable approach towards resources required in society. The course Safe nutrient recycling will give you in-depth knowledge about technologies for a safe reuse of resources in waste and understanding on how to evaluate these systems regarding e.g. applicability, microbial safety and environmental impact

Towards a sustainable waste management

All societies will generate waste and all societies need resources for food production as plant nutrients, energy, water and feed. By utilising the resource in waste in a circular manner there is a potential to decrease the need for fossil resources and prevent environmental pollution.

To find solutions, both novel and adapted to the current societal infrastructure, requires knowledge about technologies and processes but also require tools for evaluating the applicability for a system in a certain context.

If you are interested in circular systems striving for more sustainable waste management and food production with minimised environmental impact, this is a course for you!

Bacteria is used to assess the hygiene during the waste treatment laboration
Photo: Jenny Svennås-Gillner, SLU
Illustration showing aspects of the course linking to the learning objectives
Illustration showing the learning activities undertaken in the course: Waste treatment laboration, QMRA case study, Lectures, Literature, calculation exercises, computer laboration and field visits
Demonstration of fly larvae composting during the field visit at the black soldier fly facility

”The broad range of topics and applications that are covered is in my opinion a forte of the course, as it enables to address a variety of issues and solutions across sectors from food production to waste management.” Student 2019

Waste treatment in practice

The course have a laborative part where you for three weeks are running waste treatments in reactor form. You will monitor and evaluate the process and the effect on hygiene and yield of products (biogas, compost, larvae). It’s a great opportunity to in practice apply knowledge gained in lectures and exercises, giving a deeper understanding of the treatment processes.

The course contain a quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) project where you assess the microbial risk for a reuse case, e.g. risks for people eating carrots that has been fertilised with sewage sludge. The QMRA project utilises the knowledge from the course as it combines assessment of microbial hazards, removal of those by treatments, potential spread to persons by the reuse system and finally assesses the end-point risk for an exposed person. Such assessment are important for the implementation of safe technologies and systems for managing waste.

In addition to lectures, there are computer laboration on environmental systems analysis, field visits and calculation exercises and of course interesting discussions. Educating students are the main tool for SLU to contribute to a more sustainable future.

Hope to see you in the autumn!