Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Tam, Edwin (Civil and Environmental Engineering)

Keywords

Environmental engineering.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

This research assessed the feasibility of using Black Soldier Fly, Hermetia illucens, in cold weather climates to manage organic wastes. The goal was to determine if the flies could be kept alive year round in a controlled facility when exterior conditions turned inhospitable. A proof-of-concept experiment was undertaken by constructing a small research facility in Windsor, Ontario, Canada at the Essex Windsor Solid Waste Authority's Landfill Site inside two greenhouses. Although the data collected were highly variable, the experimental trials demonstrated that the design process was successful overall: Hermetia illucens can be propagated successfully in controlled environments in cold weather conditions. Key design parameters were investigated, including the waste consumption rate per maggot per day and the waste application rate. These parameters where then used as a basis for the design of a prototype waste processing facility utilizing BSF as the treatment method. A mass balance of the relevant flows and a life cycle inventory was conducted as precursors to future life cycle assessments of this process. A limited cost assessment was included to determine the economic feasibility of operating a BSF waste processing facility year-round in winter climates. The cost analysis revealed that the current design, under research conditions, could be economically viable and improvements to the process are necessary. These improvements include the more efficient use of electricity, water, natural gas and three dimensional waste processing via the use of aeration to the food pile.

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