Black Soldier Fly biowaste treatment – Assessment of global warming potential. Waste Management, Volume 84, 1 February 2019, Pages 173-181.
Cities of low and middle-income countries face severe challenges in managing the increasing amount of waste produced, especially the organic fraction.
Black Soldier Fly (BSF) biowaste treatment is an attractive treatment option as it offers a solution for waste management while also providing a protein source to help alleviate the rising global demand for animal feed.
However, to-date very little information is available on how this technology performs with regard to direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and global warming potential (GWP).
This paper presents a study that uses a life cycle assessment (LCA) approach to assess the GWP of a BSF waste treatment facility in the case of Indonesia and compares it with respective values for an open windrow composting facility. Direct CH4 and N2O samples were extracted from BSF treatment units and analyzed by gas chromatography.
Results show that direct CO2eq emissions are 47 times lower the emissions from composting. Regarding the overall GWP, the LCA shows that composting has double the GWP of BSF treatment facility based on the functional unit of 1 ton of biowaste (wet weight).
The main GWP contribution from a BSF facility are from: (1) residue post-composting (69%) and (2) electricity needs and source (up to 55%). Fishmeal production substitution by BSF larvae meal can reduce significantly the GWP (up to 30%).
Based on this study, we conclude that BSF biowaste treatment offers an environmentally relevant alternative with very low direct GHG emissions and potentially high GWP reduction. Further research should improve residue post-treatment.