Prototype of innovative toilet system installed in Malmö
The first prototype of an innovative toilet system is now installed at VA SYD's head office in Malmö. Urine is collected directly under the toilet and dehydrated in a cassette that contains, treats and concentrates the urine. The output is a dry nutrient rich urine based fertilizer. Researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural (SLU) have developed the new system, which will be tested in Malmö and Lund.
The urine contains about 75 percent of the plant nutrients that leave households via the sewer. By sorting out the urine directly in the toilet and drying it into a powder instead of diluting it in the pipes to the sewage treatment plant, the nutrients can go directly back to the cycle and be used for plants and cultivation locally.
The new toilet has a unique system that not only sorts out the urine from the rest of the wastewater in the toilet, but also dries it to a powder. The urine powder is stable and storable for the growing season. The valuable plant nutrients are sorted out directly instead of being sent to the sewage treatment plant where a smaller part of the plant nutrients can be extracted. In addition, reducing both environmental impact and the risk of eutrophication in lakes and oceans.
The first prototype is installed at VA SYD’s head office for test and evaluation. Two more toilets will be installed during 2021 in developing areas Brunnshög in Lund, and Sege Park in Malmö. This is done within the REWAISE project which aims to use local resources in a smarter and more efficient way.
– The collaboration between public sector, researcher and companies is central in order to evaluate new technique and methods in practice. We’re very happy to show the power in collaboration as the first prototype is now being demonstrated at VA SYD´s head office. Years of research and innovation led to a prototype to be installed and further developed during the project. The prototype will now be tested and evaluated by both researchers and private individuals. In the future, two more toilet systems will be installed within REWAISE Living Lab Skåne, says Therese Jephson, strategic project manager for the Swedish part of REWAISE.
Now the researchers are taking the technology further through their start-up company, Sanitation360, together with the design company EOOS Next. The researchers continue to work on developing the system and drying technology for commercialization.
More facts about the toilet system
- Unique new toilet system, that converts urine into a dry-fertilizer, preventing water pollution and enabling easier circular management of wastewater and nutrients. Developed by researchers from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU. The toilet is a new urinal toilet made by Laufen.
- The first prototype of the toilet system is installed in Malmö at VA SYD. In 2021, two more toilet systems will be installed in Sege Park, Malmö and Brunnshög, Lund.
- The new toilet system extracts the water from the urine and provides a dry, safe plant nutrient.
- The system processes up to 6 liters per day (approximately 25 to 30 toilet visits).
- Drying provides easier storage and transport of nutrients to local cultivation.
- Urine makes up only 1% of the volume, but contains about 75% of the nutrients contained in the wastewater.
- REWAISE stands for REsilient WAter Innovataion for Smart Water Economy and is a project running from 2020-2025.
- The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program and is a cooperation between 24 partners in eleven countries.
- Swedish partners are City of Lund, Lund university, City of Malmö, MKB, P-Malmö, SLU, Sweden Water Reserach, VA SYD and Win Water. The Swedish part is working to investigate how water use can be improved with examples from the urban development process in Sege Park in Malmö and Brunnshög in Lund, project leader is VA SYD.