Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

BSF larvae consuming a hamburger

Another great time lapse video of BSF larvae voraciously consuming left overs.  This time a hamburger.  Thanks again to Stefan @ EAWAG.


Time Lapse Video of BSF Eating: A Gem from Fellow Researchers in Costa Rica

While traveling, I had the excellent opportunity to visit Stefan Diener, a Swiss reasearcher and entomologist doing research on Black Soldier Fly as an “ecological engineer” for waste management.  EAWAG has an excellent site about Stefan’s work here.  Also exciting, Stefan showed me a time lapse video he took the time to make  of the BSF eating two fish (one cooked and one uncooked) and has been kind enough to share it.  Here it is below: seeing is believing!

If you have trouble viewing let me know!

April ’08 Eco-City Conference: Academic Sessions

The key to the Eco-City Conference as a whole was separation of labor and time management. Wielding dual mp3 recorders and carefully planning each day in advance, Ryan Mykita and Grant Canary ran this second gauntlet shortly after the bio-cycle conference. Amongst diverse topics that were decently grouped, some speakers were obviously hard hitters, others languished on well-beaten trails, while others came up as big surprises.

As I found out later, Umbria’s services are based on a former DoD code. Umbria tracks issues online using algorithms that are applied to the text of blogs and web pages.  In their presentation they analyzed who is talking about sustainability.  Amongst the interesting results of their 170,000 blog sample was the movement on sustainability they’ve seen recently.  The majority of discussions were about food and sustainability while only 9% of discussions were about brands and the latest campaigns. (hmm…there’s a hint…no one cares about green washing)

In the Urban Agriculture sector, NY Sunworks nailed their presentation, which detailed a system that cultivates plants contained within the walls of skyskrapers.  The skyskraper in question uses a double skin facade (like a double pane window) and in between the two layers of glass is a “dutch bucket system” of plants that are rotated up from floor 1 as seedlings, through to floor 10, and back down when they are mature at the thirty day mark.  The plants provide cooling (via evapotranspiration), shading, and food which makes the building an ultra efficient project.  The group’s economic figures purport that there is a $20 gain per square meter of installed system for heating/cooling cost reduction and a $70 per square meter when the production value of the plant is taken into consideration.

This group offered three visions for the sustainable future: the eco-apocalypse (everything goes to hell),  the eco-apartheid (those who can afford healthy and sustainble life are the only ones who get one), and the vision they are working for: eco-equity.  It is for this reason that they offer an accreditation program on greenroof installations for persons of all classes.  Judging by the participant handbook I had a minute to look through, the program appears phenomenally well organized and put together.

After two days of grueling sessions, we had another 3 days of featured speakers in the conference sessions of the Eco-City conference held at the masonic center. The fun had just begun…

(For the sessions listed above, contact me if you’re interested in the Mp3 recordings and we’ll see what we can work out.)

Insect-Based Feed Gains First Acceptance in Market

Insect-Based Alternatives to Fishmeal is our target market at BioSystems Design, LLC., and it is very active! Neptune Industries, Inc. has signed a Letter of Intent with Ziegler Bros, Inc. a leading manufacturer of high quality animal feeds, to purchase over 40 tons a month of its Insect-Based Feed.

We like the news at BioSystems, because it shows introductory acceptance of Insect-Based Feed as an excellent option for animal feed, fishmeal in particular. Neptune Industries, Inc. is progressing on standards certification for Insect-Based Feed along with other scientific developments that complement the fishmeal market. Neptune is breaking down barriers for the industry, and we are excited to see it – with full confidence in our own Insect-Based Feed which we plan to have prepared just in time to enjoy the benefits of a young, versatile fishmeal market.

With the full story, Yahoo Finance:

April ’08 BioCycle Conference Report

BioSystems Design members Grant Canary, Ryan Mykita, and Juan Diego Giraldo got a hard hitting look at composting past, present, & future in the US. Amongst the scrooges and tiny tims were tireless government activists, private operators, machine vendors, and environmental policy advocates. Sitting down in an extremely over-air conditioned town and country resort in San Diego California, a few key facts fell into place:

  • BioSystems Design can get paid to receive foodwastes, our primary target input as well as for producing larvae, our output. In the states, due to liability, supermarkets and food waste producers are not paid for their foodwastes because the potential liability they would risk for the possible transmission of disease from rotting foods is not worth the nominal fee they would receive. This is in direct contrast to Colombia. Colombian supermarkets and food waste producers (or their haulers) get paid for bad foods, which are fed primarily to pigs. In Colombia, this liability is not such a concern and expired foods are purchased and fed to livestock.
  • The California composting permitting process strikes fear in the heart of all attendees. Thus, we must research our costs and timeline for permitting in california
  • Oregon is following California and is this year adopting stricter composting requirements. This may put some composters out of business or in a mood to sell their operations. Regardless, CA versus OR permitting costs and timeline are definitely something to keep in mind as we proceed.
  • BioSystems will not need to manage food waste hauling. Haulers are a completely separate and secretive species. Haulers don’t compete with composters and vice versa.
  • Based on first hand testimony presented at the conference, restaurant chains are in some cases very difficult customers to conduct food waste collection programs with. This is due to high employee turnover and contamination of food waste bins. We additionally don’t posses the ability as the government does to compel participation by reducing waste fees. However, conflicting first hand testimony stated that some chains were very well equipped to handle food waste recycling.
  • When asked who was getting left out of the composting business, many experts from government, composters, and policy experts identified mid-size farmer groups. When I explained the business model and asked who they would target were they me, the answer was grocery stores.
  • Discussions with Hugh Whalan at Environmental Credit Corp. revealed that there is a strong potential for carbon sequestration credits. The process by which methane is measured is that it is converted to carbon emissions, and as it is much more damaging and potent, it is 23 times more profitable than carbon. 1 ton of methane removed is worth roughly 3 tons of carbon credits. This conversation has renewed our strong interest in studying the hypothesis that bio-pods off-gas less than traditional land fills and thus that there is an opportunity for carbon sequestration credits.
  • Amongst one of the best presenters at the conference was Silver Springs Organics, LLC. An extremely innovative small scale process to emulate or partner with.

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The Tribulations of Implementing Sustainable Technologies

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