Viewing entries tagged
Water

Lodologic’s team in Sao Paulo, from left, Gabriel Kainuma, Plinio Pimentel and Ayrton Junior. Photo: courtesy of Lodologic

Lodologic’s team in Sao Paulo, from left, Gabriel Kainuma, Plinio Pimentel and Ayrton Junior. Photo: courtesy of Lodologic

By next year, several Brazilian sewage plants will incorporate Lodologic systems to change sludge into odorless, pathogen-free fertilizer for crops.

By Abigail Klein Leichman

Ready for a really yucky statistic?

Sixty percent of the 6.8 million liters of daily sewage sludge generated in Brazil gets dumped back into nature untreated. And even that is a big improvement over the situation five years ago.

Now the South American country is poised to clean up its sewage problem using an Israeli invention for transforming human waste into odor-free, sterilized farm fertilizer.

Incorporated in February, Lodologic was established by a group of Brazilian companies in partnership with Paulee CleanTec in Israel. (“Lodo” means “sludge” in Portuguese.)

“Paulee CleanTec has a proprietary process to oxidate organic residue. We’re going to apply that process to sludge,” Lodologic CEO Gabriel Kainuma tells ISRAEL21c from his office in Sao Paulo.

“We mix a chemical reagent with the sludge and blend this mix in a high-speed chamber that eliminates all pathogens in the sludge, transforming it into safe, affordable, effective fertilizer,” he says.

“By 2018 we expect to be operating in at least six plants. There are over 400 sewage treatment plants in Brazil, so we have a huge market here to explore.”

A sewage treatment plant in Brazil. Photo courtesy of Lodologic

A sewage treatment plant in Brazil. Photo courtesy of Lodologic

Sludge (biosolids) is a byproduct of sewage treatment plants -- the waste removed from wastewater. While the treated water can be safely discharged to waterways or reused for other purposes, sludge has to be disposed of or treated separately onsite. An environmentally friendly option is composting, but this takes a lot of time and space. And it smells bad.

“Decades ago, when sewage treatment was only taking its first steps, sludge was dumped into international waters,” Paulee CleanTec CEO Ilan Levy tells ISRAEL21c.

In many Latin American countries, he says, dumping sludge into the ocean still is standard practice, and even happens unintentionally in places such as California when heavy rain causes sewage systems to overflow.

“Nobody knows what to do with the enormous amount of sludge generated every day,” says Levy. “The general solution is to send it to landfills. We are changing the logic by turning sludge into something of value.”

Wastewater treatment in Brazil, where Lodologic is changing the paradigm. Photo: courtesy of Lodologic

Wastewater treatment in Brazil, where Lodologic is changing the paradigm. Photo: courtesy of Lodologic

One technology, three uses

Paulee CleanTec is the Tel Aviv company that developed an invention by Hebrew University Prof. Oded Shoseyov for turning dog dung into sterile, odorless fertilizer pellets on the spot, using a pooper-scooper with an oxidation unit attached. This innovation is now going into production through a partnership with Ohio-based OurPets.

In 2014, Paulee CleanTec partnered with San Francisco-based CB Engineers to create Epic CleanTec,  which will soon install a unique system in a San Francisco high-rise apartment house to treat sewage and use the resulting fertilizer for onsite landscaping. The system will redirect the used water for toilets, irrigation and cooling towers; and will reuse the output heat for the building’s hot-water supply.

Lodologic, Paulee’s second affiliate company, “is a different application, on the municipal level, using totally different machinery,” Levy explains. “Sewage systems are overloaded and new approaches are needed. We need to increase the number of people they can serve. So we attack the problem from different angles.”

Lodologic machinery is designed to convert all types of sludge from sewage treatment plants or biogas plants into odorless, organic, low-cost agricultural fertilizer within minutes.

The Brazilian company, self-financed for now, also will offer its customers a distribution structure for the fertilizer.

“We’re developing equipment to retrofit existing sewage treatment facilities,” says Kainuma. “Usually a conveyor puts the sludge into a truck to take it away. We’re going to position our equipment to receive the sludge from the conveyor in the same place where the truck would have been. So there is very little modification needed to the plant.”

The first operation is expected to go live by the end of 2017.

“We have a team of four and are hiring more to accelerate development,” says Kainuma, a Brazilian robotics engineer who formerly worked in the automotive industry.

Other countries are likely to be watching the project in Brazil closely. While Brazil produces 2.5 million tons of sludge per year, the amounts are much higher in countries such as China (9 million tons per year) and the United States (8 million tons). The European Union generates about 12 million tons of sludge every year.

Lodologic >  

Article Courtesy of  www.Israel21c.org

Article Courtesy of www.Israel21c.org

Brazil Looks to Israeli Tech to Solve a Stinky Problem

Cultivating crops in the Negev Desert, near Nitzana. Photo by and © 2016 Vision Studio

Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research scientists are researching one of the great challenges to water conservation: desalination. Indeed, technologies in this area are quickly advancing, offering Israel the prospect of overcoming the difficult task of supplying this thirsty nation with fresh water. The Blaustein Institutes are among the top facilities in the world to be studying desalinating water using solar energy.

The Negev is like one big laboratory of arid regions in the world. And our institute has the great advantage of being at the location of its research.
— Pedro Berliner, Director, Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research

Much has been done to share the benefits of these discoveries in sustainable ecology outside Israel. Pedro Berliner, director of the Blaustein Institutes, says: “The Negev is like one big laboratory of arid regions in the world. And our institute has the great advantage of being at the location of its research. It’s what makes it special.” Recently, he has been basing some of his work on ancient Nabataean farming methods: learning from the land itself. Berliner notes that Blaustein scientists have led a reforestation project in northwest Kenya that is helping to provide refugees with much-needed firewood; similar programs have been set up in India, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan. Their aquaculture techniques have been adopted in many countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, and Namibia. Furthermore, he says, “the Negev aquifer extends right into Sinai, and the Egyptians are showing an interest in using our methods to develop it.”  

“Our motto is to turn curses into blessings,” says Berliner, who has made his home in the Negev since 1987. “The temperature of the desert is high, but this is conducive to plant and animal growth. The water is salty, but many good things can be done with it. The Negev is quite far from the center of the country . . . but this means more affordable real estate!”

Israel shares the plight of desertification with countries all over the planet—sharing its research on ways to live successfully with the desert.

Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research > 

Related Reading: It’s not the desert that’s the enemy at Israel21c.org.

 

Desalination at Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research

In a greenhouse in the Negev Desert, water is meted out to plants with drip irrigation. Photo by and © 2016 Vision Studio 

The Jacob Blaustein Institutes’ researchers are constantly looking for new ways to conserve and reutilize water. Not a drop is wasted here. This is a theme heard throughout Israel—everyone is concerned about the conservation of this most precious of resources, and everyone, it seems, is trying to do something about it.

It wasn’t simple to convince people that growing fish in the desert makes sense!” —Samuel Appelbaum, professor and fish biologist at the Blaustein Institute.

Israel’s sources of water include underground water from the mountain and coastal plain aquifers, groundwater from Lake Kinneret (or Sea of Galilee), rivers, lakes, flood-waters, and reservoirs. Underground water is the largest reserve in the country; in fact, more than 50 percent of Israel’s water is naturally stored underground and is pumped from wells or springs. Hundreds of feet under the Negev lie vast aquifers, which, though not a renewable source of water, may be used now to help irrigate, and later—like most of Israel’s water—will be recycled.   

Samuel Appelbaum, a professor and fish biologist at the Blaustein Institutes showed us small tanks filled with various types of fish—sea bass, sea bream, tilapia—all being studied to see how effectively they breed in the brackish water. 

Learn more by reading "From Far Beneath the Israeli Desert, Water Sustains a Fertile Enterprise" at Israel21C which explains:

Scientists here realized they were onto something when they found that brackish water drilled from deep underground aquifers could be used to raise warm-water fish. The geothermal water, less than a tenth as saline as seawater, free of pollutants, and a toasty 98 degrees on average, was an ideal match. It wasn’t simple to convince people that growing fish in the desert makes sense! . . . Ponds fed by geothermal waters from under the Negev teem with fish.

The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research >

Learn more by reading From Far Beneath the Israeli Desert, Water Sustains a Fertile Enterprise at Israel21C.org

Water Conservation at Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research

Trees planted in a depression to hold rainwater in the Negev.  Photo by and © 2016 Vision Studio 

The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research is one of several campuses of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Here, the curriculum focuses on how to live and work in this expanse of sand and in climatic extremes that range from scorching hot to bitter cold. Ben-Gurion himself put it concisely: “In the Negev will the people of Israel be tested.”

Nearly 60 percent of Israel is desert. How can food be raised in a barren wasteland? Scientists at the Blaustein Institutes have been working since the 1970s to make parts of the Negev green and hospitable.

Nearly 60 percent of Israel is desert. How can food be raised in a barren wasteland? Where does the water come from to sustain life in such arid, dusty conditions? Scientists at the Blaustein Institutes have been working since the 1970s to make parts of the Negev green and hospitable—researching everything from climatology and meteorology to water resources, desert ecology, animal husbandry, biotechnology, and much more.

The institute’s Solar and Environmental Physics center is designed for super energy efficiency. Much thought has gone into how to construct in this environment, where electricity and water are so very valuable. It’s a given that buildings here must be designed to work with the realities of the desert context, and not in confrontation with them. While the days are hot, the nights can be very chilly; a well-insulated structure, with thick, dense walls, can retain that refreshing coolness. Cold air has a tendency to stay low—so in this building, most of the offices are located on the first floor, and in the summertime a cooling tower sprinkles water into the atmosphere, serving as a form of air conditioning. Conversely, hot air rises, so the light from the blazing sun is blocked with shades, and high vents and windows allow the warm air that has accumulated to escape. In the winter, the campus—which is more than 1,300 feet above sea level—can get cold, so solar panels soak in the sun’s heat and distribute it to the building, warming workspaces and the circulating water system.

The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research >

Climate and Environment Studies at Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research