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Reuse of dishwashing waste to produce vegetables

biofiltercropsESTECHmicrobial consortiaplant cultivationsave waterZero Waste

Introduction

The invention consists of a system to be associated with a dishwasher to recondition wastewater so that it can be used both to irrigate vegetables and to be reused in subsequent washing cycles. The wastewater from the dishwasher is reconditioned through an ad hoc designed biofilter, and can fertilize plants thanks to the mineralized nutrient content.

Technical features

The invention includes: wastewater collection & distribution devices, filters (2 mechanical, 1 biological), plants’ irrigation system. The biological filter is built by the cyanobacterium Trichormus variabilis VRUC168 and heterotrophic bacteria thriving in wastewater; it is ad hoc assembled in a closed system, the cyanobacterium produces oxygen and the heterotrophs mineralize the organic component.

Possible Applications

  • Single-family domestic systems (kitchens with vertical vegetable garden);
  • Multi-family domestic systems (use of wastewater to irrigate urban gardens);
  • Systems for collective catering (restaurants, canteens, farmhouses, etc.);
  • Systems for extreme environments (mountain shelters, Antarctic bases, space applications).

Advantages

  • Complete dishwasher wastewater recycling: reduction of drinking water consumption and wastewater production;
  • Reduced consumption of fresh water in vegetable production;
  • Production and consumption of vegetables at zero mile;
  • Raising awareness on circular economy and stimulation of sustainable behaviour.