Last changed: 05 November 2021

SPROUT started in 2014 and continuous throughout 2017.

What SPROUT does:

The SPROUT waste-to-value programme (Safe PROtein from Unused wasTe) represents a new approach to waste management. A short and simple treatment process with fly larvae composting converts organic waste and manure into high value products using a system of low technical complexity. The environmental impact of the fly larvae composting is less compared to the conventional systems of today.

The overall objective of this three-year project is to develop a turn-key solution for waste-to-value treatment where the larvae of the Black Soldier Fly (BSF) convert waste into valuable animal feed and fertiliser. Within the project, design specifications and a market-ready prototype of a modular treatment unit for converting organic waste into insect-based animal feed will be developed. The underlying aim is to produce SPROUT waste-to-value treatment units and post-market support for small- to medium-scale organic waste treatment.

The project focuses on:

Hygienic aspects: To identify the impact of key factors, including technical design and feeding strategies, on the hygiene quality of the feed and fertiliser produced and to determine how these can be regulated and monitored in a full-scale process

Design and operation of treatment units: To identify the impact of key factors, including technical design and feeding strategies, on quality and quantity of the products (feed and fertiliser)

Quality of products (feed and fertiliser): To optimise post-harvest processing regarding feed quality and product safety (mainly regarding hygiene)

Economy: To develop business models for BSF waste processing and waste process plants suitable in Swiss and Swedish contexts

Environment: To evaluate the environmental impact of BSF waste processing compared with conventional biological treatment and to evaluate the microbial risks of introducing the SPROUT treatment system

Treatment concept for fly larva composting of waste and manure (Cecilia Lalander).

Who we are:

SPROUT is a multi-national R&D project with SLU (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) and Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology) as the research partners and Pacovis from Switzerland as the partner from industry.

Participating from the SLU-department Energy and Technology: Assoc Prof Björn Vinnerås (Project leader) and Dr Cecilia Lalander.

Participating from Eawag; Dr Christian Zurbrügg, Bart Verstapp

Participating from Pacovis; Urs Oswald, Dr Stefan Diener

Participating Students

Bram Dortmans; Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences – MSc student 

Florian Gabler; Bauhaus University Weimar – Intern SLU

Andreas Binkert; University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland – BSc at Eawag


The project is funded via the EU-program ECO-INNOVERA and the Swedish Research Council Formas and the Swizz Federal Office for the Environment BAFU and Pacovis