Insect-based Food Waste Valorization and Organics Recycling System

Technology Overview

The company develops intensive insect farming systems for sustainable protein production. The company produce high-quality, protein-rich and safe animal nutrition, pet food and organic fertilizer by using a novel, scalable Black Soldier Fly-based bioconversion system to recapture nutrients from organic side-streams. Their innovative circular economy approach focuses on driving necessary change in the global food supply chain.

Cost-effective and efficient recycling of food waste and organic side-stream is a critical necessity to achieve a more sustainable food system, but a real challenge for business along the food value chain from agricultural production, processing, food manufacturing, logistics & distribution to pre and post consumption. Composting technologies and anaerobic digestion are the major currently available processing technologies, but they are often not optimally suited and costly. 

The developed intensive, modular, vertical insect farming system provides a value-added processing alternative to valorize the resources, maximise the recycling value to minimize disposal processing costs while ensuring regulatory compliance or even to turn the side-streams into a net-positive cash source. The system is adaptable for a waste input capacity ranging from 2-40 tons per day. The system can be deployed on-site (depending on specific substrates and desired system size) or in dedicated location and potentially pooling waste resources from several suppliers. The system will be available as a processing service built, owned and operated by the company, as a joint venture model or as turnkey systems for your own use, where company can provide product off-take agreements if desired.

Technology Features & Specifications

The technology has four components: Feedstock preparation, Breeding, Bioconversion and Downstream processing.

A basic system entails feedstock preparation and bioconversion; young larvae supply and product downstream processing / product off-take are provided through the central breeding and processing facility as a shared resource. Food waste and side-streams are pre-processed and homogenized on-site and then introduced to insect larvae for bioconversion processing in specifically designed and controlled bioconversion units. After a 10 day period, the BSF larvae have extracted and concentrated the valuable nutrients and can be harvested for downstream processing into high-quality animal feed. The feedstock meanwhile has been decomposed and fermented to form a fertilizer for organic farming. Such models will be available as turnkey solutions in 2019.

A full system also contains an on-site breeding component, which supplies the young larvae as well as a downstream production line to turn larvae and fertilizer into marketable products (such as whole dried larvae, BSF protein meal, BSF oil and free-flowing or slow-release fertilizers etc.).

Product output and conversion ratios depend on the feedstock materials used. We have expertise and process parameter database for a variety of substrates and a rigorous evaluation process to ascertain suitability and viability of your specific feedstock materials.

Potential Applications

The insect bioconversion system is designed for flexible urban/peri-urban industrial and agricultural site deployment and for input capacities ranging from 2-40 tons per day. It can be deployed on-site for operations with larger sidestreams as well as an aggregate service provider for combination of sidestream / waste sources. The technology provider is looking to work with medium to large food processing and manufacturing establishments to deploy our bioconversion systems. Bystreams from smaller food sidestream sources can be integrated once deployed with key input sources. While a broad spectrum of organic materials can be used, higher protein content is preferred, while leafy/woody materials are not suitable. Feedstocks with consistent daily production volume and homogenous consistency are preferred. Where regulation allows, the system can also be deployed on-site with larger lifestock farming operations (e.g. broiler and layer chicken houses) to process animal manure.

Customer Benefits

This insect bioconversion tecnology results in higher value products per unit of input compared to other recycling and processing technologies on the market, which enables significantly reduced disposal/processing costs and depending on the material even net positive value generation from waste and sidestream materials, while ensuring regulatory compliance and beyond; without creating any new waste streams.

The system in particular is focused on operations simplicity, reduced CAPEX for fast ROI and strict environmental compliance (in terms of odor, containment and hygiene). The company have developed standardized processes and components as well as operations management tools to make the process simple and cost-efficient to operate with minimal footprint. 

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