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 Why do we need a bioconversion unit? 
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:41 pm
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Location: Mississippi Delta
Post Why do we need a bioconversion unit?
This the question for everyone, are the bioconversion units worthy? I am aware of "patenting wars", bioconversion units that are not working and colony collapses due to the use of closed containers with or without drain, but no one realized that the BSFL do not need containers in the wild for fully developing. Are we taking the pathway of the vermiculture? Are we mimicking the first bioconversion unit patented by mr. Paul Olivier, the bipod? Earthworms are not insects so the vermiculture is probably not a good way to follow in our case, neither the example from mr. Olivier (hundreds of times cited in all the patents and papers published about BSF). Probably we have to learn from scratch as we did in White Oak Pastures, Georgia, we do not need any rearing container and it means we won't ever have to pay any royalty.


Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:08 pm
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Post Re: Why do we need a bioconversion unit?
I don't think I follow you Alfredo. What do you recommend for a family that wants to responsibly process a few kilos of mixed household food waste each day without much effort? Let's assume a warm climate for now, for purposes of discussion.

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Sun Jan 04, 2015 1:12 am
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Post Re: Why do we need a bioconversion unit?
Jerry wrote:
I don't think I follow you Alfredo. What do you recommend for a family that wants to responsibly process a few kilos of mixed household food waste each day without much effort? Let's assume a warm climate for now, for purposes of discussion.


I assume warm or cold climate, the method is working because it uses the heat produced by thermophiles. We are going to make a seminar this March 21st (date not confirmed yet) at White Oak Pastures, GA, how to raise BSFL larvae in 7 days using common biodegradable materials, no matter the weather conditions . Well of course you will need eggs or neonates but can be shipped all year around.


Sun Jan 04, 2015 11:11 pm
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Post Re: Why do we need a bioconversion unit?
That sounds very exciting and I look forward to your new discoveries. I'm still curious about what you would recommend for a family that wants to responsibly process a few kilos of mixed household food waste each day without much effort. If you can't answer at this time I'll be patient. ;)

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Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:16 am
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Post Re: Why do we need a bioconversion unit?
Jerry wrote:
That sounds very exciting and I look forward to your new discoveries. I'm still curious about what you would recommend for a family that wants to responsibly process a few kilos of mixed household food waste each day without much effort. If you can't answer at this time I'll be patient. ;)


My goal is to rear BSFL all year around, after egg production was solved. I invented 4 rearing system during the last 6 years, but all of them need heat. Not just in winter or cold weather, the heat is needed at night time for speeding up the larvae development.The main challenge is that heat and aeration are not compatible, also flat or ellipsoid bottoms are not compatible with aeration even with a good drainage, the liquids, the water tends to clog the fine pores of the drainage system. Forced aeration has several issues, not just clogging air tubbing and filters, is not compatible with insulation. Those are the reasons for discarding all the contained rearing systems, so we can discuss here how those issues can be solved if you want.

Yes you can rear BSFL in a corner of your backyard, or at mass scale, no headaches, investment and nasty odors. Jerry you are welcome to visit us, you know it is your home.


Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:33 am
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Post Re: Why do we need a bioconversion unit?
Thanks for the invitation Alfredo, I would love to visit the ranch again, and if I'm ever nearby I'll see if you and Will are available.

Quote:
Yes you can rear BSFL in a corner of your backyard, or at mass scale, no headaches, investment and nasty odors.


Again, I'm not clear on what you recommend. Many will not feel comfortable with a simple pile in the yard, especially if they are processing meats, dairy, etc., or if neighbors are a concern. What do you recommend to those people?

Quote:
The main challenge is that heat and aeration are not compatible, also flat or ellipsoid bottoms are not compatible with aeration even with a good drainage, the liquids, the water tends to clog the fine pores of the drainage system.

I don't believe that you've worked with my composter, but its drainage system does provide excellent flow/aeration with no significant clogging. The finest pores (slots in this case) are a bit more than 3mm wide. This allows all sizes of larvae to pass through the drainage system, which is not a problem and actually helps keep the system draining well. Air pockets are always visible through the compost, and in one test I found that it took 1.5 gallons of water to fill the air pockets in 4 gallons of compost, which of course is more than 1/3 of the volume.

Attachment:
6 gallon composter - air spaces and larvae.jpg
6 gallon composter - air spaces and larvae.jpg [ 217.6 KiB | Viewed 9588 times ]


The good aeration achieved with my system eliminates the foul odors that you mentioned above.

I agree that some designs create headaches, but anyone who learns how to use my system will find that it requires little time or effort. I typically spend about 15 minutes per week maintaining a single composter, not counting feeding or staring at my colony eating. :lol:

The air pockets in the unit are created by flushing out the fine frass with water. The resulting effluent may be a useful soil amendment or fertilizer.

I'm also curious what you suggest for those who wish to harvest prepupae.

I'm very open to criticism of other peoples designs, or my own. I posted the comments above so that you can give focused criticism if you care to. While I know that my design could be improved, I find it very easy to use. What am I missing?

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Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:14 pm
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Post Re: Why do we need a bioconversion unit?
Jerry wrote:
Thanks for the invitation Alfredo, I would love to visit the ranch again, and if I'm ever nearby I'll see if you and Will are available.


Or you can make him a call sure he will respond your questions.

Quote:
Yes you can rear BSFL in a corner of your backyard, or at mass scale, no headaches, investment and nasty odors.


Jerry wrote:
Again, I'm not clear on what you recommend. Many will not feel comfortable with a simple pile in the yard, especially if they are processing meats, dairy, etc., or if neighbors are a concern. What do you recommend to those people?


Well it will be simple if it was a pile, you know the piles of composting materials did not work even insufflating air through perforated pipes.

Quote:
The main challenge is that heat and aeration are not compatible, also flat or ellipsoid bottoms are not compatible with aeration even with a good drainage, the liquids, the water tends to clog the fine pores of the drainage system.

Jerry wrote:
I don't believe that you've worked with my composter, but its drainage system does provide excellent flow/aeration with no significant clogging. The finest pores (slots in this case) are a bit more than 3mm wide. This allows all sizes of larvae to pass through the drainage system, which is not a problem and actually helps keep the system draining well. Air pockets are always visible through the compost, and in one test I found that it took 1.5 gallons of water to fill the air pockets in 4 gallons of compost, which of course is more than 1/3 of the volume.

Attachment:
6 gallon composter - air spaces and larvae.jpg


The good aeration achieved with my system eliminates the foul odors that you mentioned above.


Probably your aeration system is good, but it has a limit, once this limit is reached you have to make improvements once again.

Jerry wrote:
I agree that some designs create headaches, but anyone who learns how to use my system will find that it requires little time or effort. I typically spend about 15 minutes per week maintaining a single composter, not counting feeding or staring at my colony eating. :lol:


I spend 0 minutes a week maintaining the system, from day 1 to day 7 the larvae reached full growth. But it is not a contained system.

Jerry wrote:
The air pockets in the unit are created by flushing out the fine frass with water. The resulting effluent may be a useful soil amendment or fertilizer.


It is a waste of energy, the effluent has some "!energy" stored that can be used back for heating the colony, also you must use warm water (probably above 20 Celsius) or your colony will collapse and it won't be able to recover, specially during very cold days.

Jerry wrote:
I'm also curious what you suggest for those who wish to harvest prepupae.


Finally we end up with a huge mass of larvae. If you know the behavior of the larvae during cold/warm, rainy/sunny days plus nights you got the answer.

Jerry wrote:
I'm very open to criticism of other peoples designs, or my own. I posted the comments above so that you can give focused criticism if you care to. While I know that my design could be improved, I find it very easy to use. What am I missing?


Well the problem is the design. As I designed rearing containers I am aware of all the issues the containers have. Right now I did not invent any container, I can say it is a method.


Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:38 pm
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Post Re: Why do we need a bioconversion unit?
Alfredo, I appreciate your efforts, but I think I'll have to wait until you can freely describe your process before I have any chance of understanding your points. ;)

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Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:02 pm
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Post Re: Why do we need a bioconversion unit?
Jerry, the method by itself can be used with or without larvae, I mean it is an passive aerated composting method. But it is an idyllic spacial environment for the BSFL coz suits the larvae environment in the Nature. I am not forcing them to stay confined inside a container, but I managed to work with the biopod (the rounded version) using my method, even in the coldest days it works. And it will work inside your container, for sure, but you won't need to flush it a single time. We are preparing a seminar at White Oak Pastures this March.


Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:15 am
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Post Re: Why do we need a bioconversion unit?
I thank you for sharing this with us Alfredo. I'm looking forward to this new development. The timing is interesting for me personally because I've been considering ending my composter sales.

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Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:10 am
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Post Re: Why do we need a bioconversion unit?
Well I spoke too early, this morning the bottom of the bipod was a a compacted mass of everything including dead larvae probably trapped, so this method cannot be used inside containers. The seminar where we will explain how to successfully raise BSFL, will take place at White Oak Pastures, Georgia, on March 21st.


Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:28 pm
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Post Re: Why do we need a bioconversion unit?
I'm sorry it didn't work out.

Where does that leave our hypothetical family that wants to process a few kilos during the warm season?

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Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:29 pm
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Post Re: Why do we need a bioconversion unit?
Jerry wrote:
I'm sorry it didn't work out.

Where does that leave our hypothetical family that wants to process a few kilos during the warm season?


Probably the hypothetical family must deal with the container issues and call back to the hypothetical manufacturer of the container in order to get a hypothetical solution that does not exist. The 90% of the responses of the manufacturers are resumed in just one "you are overfeeding the larvae". Being or not the truth, those are the limitations of the containers, or in other words, the BSFL cannot be confined and domesticated, you have to follow the wishes of the (mass) of larvae, without any doubt.


Tue Jan 06, 2015 7:41 pm
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