Preliminary techno-economic analysis for food waste valorization via black soldier fly (Hermetia illuscens)

Research poster
Haley Stockham
Ajay Shah
Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Excessive food waste is a chronic problem in the United States. As it stands, managing this waste comes with steep logistics expenses. The Black Soldier Fly (BSF) Hermetia illuscens is a hardy species, capable of consuming a wide range of biowaste, including food scraps. The resulting larvae have nutritional value for feed as they possess a high protein and fat content. Thus, we propose this techno-economic analysis for valorizing food waste in the U.S. via BSF. This study defines the required operations, equipment, machinery, utilities, labor, financial parameters and expected logistics expenses for a BSF food waste management system to manage the daily volume of food waste. It was found that a facility of this nature would supply an estimated annual net revenue of roughly $0.5 million through yield of 143 t/y oven dried BSF larvae. Sensitivity analysis of the BSF feed production cost found that the cost is most affected by waste to biomass conversion rate and then moisture content of the food waste, and waste volume reduction on a total solids basis.