Aerosan is a small and dynamic Canadian NGO based in Halifax Nova Scotia. Its sanitation projects are supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Grand Challenges Canada (GCC) and the Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) in the UK.
Aerosan’s mission is to provide innovative sanitation solutions to the most vulnerable populations in the world’s least developed countries. Solid waste management, which aims at protecting human health, preventing environmental degradation and recovering valuable energy resources, is seen by us as an essential service and a key global challenge of the twenty-first century, particularly in urban areas.
Aerosan is currently working on the design and implementation of holistic sanitation services in the largest urban area of Nepal – the Kathmandu valley. Our objective is to improve the delivery and access of sanitation services. In doing so, Aerosan is committed to having a positive impact on social welfare, health, the local economy, and the environment.
To realize the full health and economic benefits of sanitation, the entire Sanitation Value Chain must be considered, from the use of safe, well-lit and secure public toilets, the transformation of human waste into valuable renewable energy (biogas) and fertilizer, both of which create social capital for the lowest paid sanitation workers. At Aerosan, this also involves the bundling of user services, eco-efficient energy systems, waste-to-value processes, and strategic public-private NGO partnerships as well as co-operatives. Aerosan is committed to utilizing the latest eco-efficient technology and innovative business practices for the sustainable development of these sanitation services and practices.
This past year, Aerosan successfully implemented a social business model for public toilets in Kathmandu. We are now transitioning to scale the model. This methodology and business modeling are replicable in other urban settings in the least developed countries.
Aerosan is developing an above-ground toilet that can be flat packed and installed in a few hours in emergency, humanitarian and development settings, at low-cost. The Aerosan system uses airflow to eliminate odors and improve waste digestion and drying, which is much safer to handle.
We are currently funding research at the Universities of Laval (Quebec) and Victoria (British Columbia) in order to improve the airflow to facilitate increased desiccation for easier and safer handling of human waste.
Human Waste to Renewable Energy
Aerosan is currently researching, testing and implementing projects related to technologies that convert human waste into renewable energy.
Anaerobic digestion is a series of biological processes in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. The end products are biogas, which is combusted as cooking gas and fertilizer. In our existing projects in Nepal, via and public-private NGO partnership, we build anaerobic digesters onto existing public toilet complexes so that, instead of the human waste being dumped into the river, it is utilized to make renewable energy. This not only reduces health and environmental risks but also provides an income for the sanitation workers who operate the toilets with the sales of the biogas to adjoining cafes.
Interested in discussing our current Human Waste to Renewable projects? We would love to hear from you. Contact us here .