17 Jun 2011:
Researchers Use Fly Larvae
To Remove Organic Waste on Large Scale
Spanish researchers have developed a process that uses fly larvae to rapidly break down animal waste on a large scale
while simultaneously producing biomass that can be re-used for numerous purposes, from animal feed to the production of biodiesel fuel. In a pilot project launched at the University of Alicante, researchers say they’ve been able to breed large numbers of the larvae of Hermetia illucens
, a tropical fly species that can process and remove 90 percent of the organic matter from animal waste. In tests, researchers say, 20 million larvae have been able to ingest one ton of waste per day. When the larvae reach a certain size, they are separated from the waste and the leftover biomass is re-used for other purposes, including as a raw material for biodiesel, or as feed for aquaculture systems. The researchers say the process is much faster and more effective than conventional composting techniques, and could be used to process human waste, as well.
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