BioFAVOR II – Low-tech recycling of faeces from decentralised sources

The joint research project BioFAVOR II demonstrates the technical feasibility of a novel, easily scalable and mobile low-tech process for converting faeces from compost toilets into products that are hygienically and ecologically harmless, e.g. for use as soil improvers in agriculture, horticulture and home gardens.

Research approach

On the one hand, the institutional conditions, in particular licensing conditions for the planned innovation are identified, but also appropriate new forms of cooperation between the various actors favouring the implementation of the recycling. On the other hand, consumers’ demands concerning the product are socio-empirically surveyedas early as possible and information are queried to what extent it is welcomed and accepted. The results are then used to technically determine a bio-economic solution for the direct decentralised disposal of faeces.

Background

Human faeces are a waste material that is hardly made use of at all. At present, they are disposed of by using a relatively high amount of energy and drinking water. In industrialised countries such as Germany, the cost of disposal is particularly high if there is no or only an inadequate access to a central sewage network and if the faeces only occur temporarily and in greatly varying quantities, e.g. at festivals, camping sites and major construction sites. However, due to the high content of plant nutrients contained in them, the recycling of faeces from these decentralised and highly fluctuating sources is particularly promising from an ecological and economic point of view.

Project partners

  • Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Department of Environmental Technology, Department of Environmental Microbiology, Leipzig
  • German Biomass Research Centre, Leipzig

Funding

The research project “BioFAVOR II: Development and evaluation of a demonstration plant for the decentralised utilisation of human faeces” is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under the funding measure “New products for bioeconomics”.

Duration

2018/04 – 2020/03