IOBB E-Seminar - 01
The Bio-Conversion of Putrescent Wastes
Dr. Paul A. Olivier
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Proceedings: Archives  Date Topic
Date 01-13 March 2004
Internet Venue IOBB E-Seminar Room 2
The Bio-Conversion of Putrescent Wastes 
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Presented by Paul A. Olivier, Ph.D., 
President, Engineering, Separation & Recycling LLC, Washington, Louisiana, USA.
Dr Larry Newton. Animal & Dairy Science Dept., University of Georgia Coastal Plain Station, Tifton, GA. USA
About the Author

Dr. Paul Olivier began his career in mineral preparation in 1981 and sold throughout the world more than 50 dynamic effect separators for the reclamation of abandoned mine lands. In 1985 Olivier invented a unique bi-directional dense medium separator which was first applied to the separation of a variety of root vegetables. The accuracy of separation of this separator was so noteworthy that it drew the attention of the plastic and non-ferrous metal recycling industries. In 1990 the first of five large automobile and industrial waste recycling centers was set up, and this technology was not only used to recycle non-ferrous metals, but it was also used to prepare an organic stream that was clean enough to be used as an alternative fuel in cement kilns. The largest recycling companies in Western Europe, NV Galloo and CFF Recycling have bought this unique separatory process. Soon it became apparent that this separator could process municipal solid waste, provided of course that food waste was isolated from eveything else.

Thus began the search for a simple and easy way to dispose of 
source-separated food waste, and attention shifted to the amazing ability of fly larvae to dispose of all types of putrescent waste. Eventually Olivier selected the larvae of the black soldier fly as the principle agent in a simple bioconversion process, and he began to devise numerous devices that would allow these creatures to complete their larval and prepupal stages in the most efficient manner. This led to the concept of plastic bin (US patent pending) with two spiral ramps to assist the prepupal larvae in their migration out of the waste disposal area.

Imagine a bioconversion process that reduces the weight and volume of food waste by over 95% within a matter of just a few hours. The process requires no energy, no electricity, no chemicals, not even water. The process is totally self-contained. It produces no effluent, and aside from a small amount of CO2, it produces no methane or other greenhouse gases. 

The process is housed within a container that resembles a small plastic garbage bin. The unit has no moving parts and requires no maintenance. Since it must be emptied but once a year, it eliminates altogether the collection, transport and landfilling of food waste. It can be situated out-of-doors in a shaded area, and any number of units can be coupled together to handle unlimited quantities of waste. The process generates very little odor, and at the same time, it very effectively repels houseflies and other filth-bearing flies. The unit requires very little expertise or experience to operate, it sells for less than $80 US dollars, and it can handle the daily food waste of more than 25 people. The process not only generates its own heat, but it also regulates and stabilizes heat to assure maximal bioconversion throughout the winter months. 

The process is driven by a tiny creature native to the whole of the Americas, a creature that poses no threat to humans and has never been associated in any way with the transmission of disease. Yet at the same time, this benign creature possesses one of the most robust digestive systems within nature. It thrives in the presence of salts, alcohols, ammonia and a variety of food toxins. Upon reaching maturity, it migrates out of the unit and into a collection bucket without any human or mechanical intervention. This self-harvesting grub represents a bundle of nutrients that rivals in commercial value the finest fish meal. This creature can be used to process just about any type of putrescent waste, including poultry waste as well as human and swine feces.