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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Co-composting of banana peel and orange peel waste with fish waste to improve conversion by black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens (L.), Diptera: Stratiomyidae) larvae

Isibika, A.; Vinneras, B.; Kibazohi, O.; Zurbrugg, C.; Lalander, C.


Black soldier fly (BSF) larvae composting is a promising waste treatment that can add value to available biodegradable waste. However, substrates that have low protein content and contain complex molecules (e.g. fruit peels) are not easily degraded by the larvae. This study evaluated the impact on the BSF larvae composting efficiency of co-composting different mixtures of banana and orange peels with incremental increase of fish waste. Mixtures (in total 50 distinct mixtures) of varying proportions of banana peels, orange peels and fish waste were evaluated. BFSL fed on orange peel and banana peel mixtures, containing no fish waste, resulted in a lower biomass conversion efficiency (4.5% +/- 1.3) on a volatile solids (VS) basis (BCEvs). Co-composting the fruit peels with fish waste increased the biomass conversion efficiency and the highest BCEvs (25%) was attained when 75% fish waste was included. However, the BCEvs varied greatly (18.0% +/- 5.8), likely due to varying fish waste composition. A 25% fish waste inclusion resulted in more than twice as high BCEvs (12.3% +/- 2.1) compared to when no fish waste was included. As the conversion efficiency variance increased with increasing fish waste inclusion, it was recommended to keep the inclusions of the fish waste to around 25% of the total mixture, in order to increase the reliability of the BSF larvae composting efficiency.


Protein-carbon balance; Organic waste; Fruit waste; Biodegradable waste; Fibrous waste

Published in

Journal of Cleaner Production
2021, Volume: 318, article number: 128570