P17422: Continuous System for Black Solider Fly Composting


Project Summary Project Information

The EPA estimates that 95% of food waste is destined for landfills or incinerators. At RIT, 1.3 tons of food waste per week is sent to a bio-digester off campus. Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) composting can be used to recover more wastes for composting due to their ability to compost meats and oils. A continuous system for black soldier fly larvae composting would enable facilities to efficiently compost more waste with a smaller footprint, eliminating the environmental effects of hauling waste to landfills and bio-digester facilities. This continuous system would be easy to clean, allow larvae to migrate for harvesting, and allow flies to lay eggs. This system would also be suitable in climates that are not naturally suited for BSFL. Current systems are a Batch process which needs frequent cleaning, has a design that is too deep for larvae to operate, and is not good for small batches.

The goals of this project are to develop a functioning continuous system for rearing BSFL in an indoor shed with a 1 square meter footprint. In order for the system to be continuous, the larvae must thrive, and pupae must be removed three times a week. The system must be able to process at least 12kg of Gracie’s food waste per day. The expected end requirement is a working prototype, a technical paper, test results, an operator’s manual and assistance for the EPA P3 Expo in April 2017.

Black Soldier Fly laying eggs in cardboard

Black Soldier Fly laying eggs in cardboard

Sponsor logo

Sponsor logo

Project Name
Continuous System for Black Soldier Fly Larva (BSFL) Composting
Project Number
Project Family
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
Edward Hanzlik, echeee@rit.edu
Primary Customer
Sarah Brownell, 330-6434, 475-4076, sabeie@rit.edu... Shwe Sin Win, 978-472-4533, sxw3568@rit.edu
Sponsor (financial support)
US EPA P3 Award, PI Brian Thorn, bkteie@rit.edu

Team Members

Team Members (left to right): Anton Krull, Ryan Hochreiter, Taylor Hogan, Erinne Munie

Team Members (left to right): Anton Krull, Ryan Hochreiter, Taylor Hogan, Erinne Munie

Member Major Role Contact
Taylor Hogan ISE Group Leader tjh6280@g.rit.edu
Ryan Hochreiter ME Designer rmh8826@rit.edu
Erinne Munie BME Project Manager ejm8875@g.rit.edu
Anton Krull ME Communications amk7878@rit.edu

Table of Contents

Content Guidelines:


Planning & Execution

Project Photos and Videos

Imagine RIT

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Preliminary Detailed Design

Detailed Design

Build & Test Prep

Subsystem Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test with Customer Demo

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation


We would like to thank Professor Sarah Brownell and Shwe Sin Win for their research and supporting work. We would like to thank our sponors the US EPA P3 Award and PI Brian Thorn.