Department Sanitation, Water and Solid Waste for Development

Black Soldier Fly Biowaste Processing

Many organic waste sources have a high nutritional potential and thus make an excellent feed substrate for insect larvae in general, and the larvae of the black soldier fly (BSF), Hermetia illucens L. (Diptera: Stratiomyidae), in particular. Given the right circumstances, the larvae are able to reduce the material by 50-80% and they convert up to 20% into larval biomass on a total solids basis within ±14 days. The grown larvae make an excellent protein source in animal feed and their sale can, thus, contribute to lower treatment cost and to a lucrative business with organic waste.


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Black Soldier Fly research at Sandec covers different categories:

Process engineering: studies the biology of the fly and the optimization of the processes relevant for efficient waste conversion (e.g. conversion rates of different types of biowaste, survival rate of various life stages, uptake of heavy metals)

Application in the field: build-up and analysis of pilot/demonstration facilities (in Costa Rica, Indonesia, Switzerland, Sweden, Tanzania).

Sustainability aspects: covers the evaluation and modelling of financial, social and environmental aspects (e.g., Time-motion-studies, life-cycle analysis, economic feasibility)

Black Soldier Fly Biowaste Processing - A Step by Step Guide

Although academic publications on BSF are on the increase, an open exchange and discussion on the very practical day-to-day working steps when operating a BSF facility is still limited. Filling this gap is the main objective of the book “Black Soldier Fly Biowaste Processing – A Step-by-Step Guide” .

Instructional Video for the guide

Black Soldier Fly Biowaste Processing - A Step by Step Guide in Indonesian

Black Soldier Fly Biowaste Processing - A Step by Step Guide in Chinese

这本名为 “Black Soldier Fly Biowaste Processing - A Step by Step Guide” 的书解释了操作BSF设施处理有机废物时非常实用的日常工作步骤

Timelapse Videos of BSF Larvae Eating 2 Fish and a Hamburger

Selected BSF Projects

FORWARD is an applied research project developing integrated strategies & technologies for the management of municipal organic solid waste in medium-sized cities of Indonesia.