Using Black Soldier Fly Larvae To Make Composting More Efficient And Profitable

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
H.M. Zouzias (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
James Houser

Abstract: As climate change continues and resource management becomes crucial for sustainability, food waste and OM should be treated as resources. OM anaerobically digests when buried underground producing methane, it increases the weight of transported trash, and is taking up unnecessary space in landfills (Shelomi, 2020). Composting is the bioconversion of OM into a usable and valuable soil amendment (Makan & Fadili, 2020). Due to downsides of traditional composting, the process on a small- and large-scale disincentivize the practice. However, cultivating BSFL in compost incentivizes the diversion of food waste and OM from landfills to be converted into larvae. BSFL, which consume about 200 mg per day, feed on OM, usually decaying organisms, food waste and manure (Attiogbe et al., 2019). Using BSFL in composting has benefits of decreasing the BD of food waste inputs quickly, reducing the processing timeline, requiring less space, and producing profitable larvae. BSFL composting becomes a closed loop system where OM is produced and fed to BSFL, and then the larvae can in turn be used as livestock feed (Shelomi, M., 2020). By exploring the inputs and outputs of traditional and BSFL composting systems, conclusions on the benefits of BSFL composting are made showcasing the efficiency, productivity, and profitability of BSFL composting. Over the timeline of traditional composting, the BSFL composting process even scaled up to handle the same amount of waste could have been completed eight times with at least five times less labor put in. By dividing the value of the composting outputs by the hours of labor, BSFL showed to be $5 more profitable per hour. Even though the cubic inches per g of OM handled were greater with the BSFL bin this excluded the facts that BSFL were immediately converting waste and always required the same amount of space. On the other hand, traditional composting, also a collection of waste, needed extra space to turn the compost pile effectively.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Zouzias, H.M. (2021). Using Black Soldier Fly Larvae To Make Composting More Efficient And Profitable. Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2021
Black Soldier Fly Larvae, Composting, bioconversion, organic matter, sustainable technology

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