Sanitation360 was founded in Gotland, Sweden in 2019 to offer a unique solution that converts urine into a dry-fertilizer, preventing water pollution and enabling easier circular management of wastewater and nutrients. With these solution, they protect our water, enable safer toilets and build sustainable communities.
The Sanitation360 team, Björn Vinnerås, Prithvi Simha and Jenna Senecal, have been working together over the past 5 years driving the scientific development of how to safely recirculate plant nutrients from human excreta back to the agricultural fields. Through laboratory experiments and pilot testing in Sweden, Finland and France, they co-developed a system for concentrating the plant nutrients in urine to produce a dry urine fertilizer.
As a Swedish company based on Gotland – an island in the Baltic Sea, where they see the direct effects of our mismanagement of nutrients with the formation of harmful algae blooms. When the stone wall was built around the city of Visby on Gotland in the medieval era, we did a better job of recirculating the nutrients from excreta. Since nobody wants to revert to collecting excreta in buckets as we once did, they are here, to revolutionise the way in which we handle our waste.
Sanitation360 produces a commercially viable fertilizer from our urine
Sanitation360 started to hit the road to be able to transfer their scientific knowledge into commercial products that can ultimately make going to the bathroom more sustainable. They convert urine into a dry fertilizer which keep 80% of the polluting compounds out of the wastewater. This technology also help decrease the spread of disease and reduce algae blooms while minimizing the climate impact of going to the bathroom. The good news is this solution can be integrated into any toilet and may feed the ideal image of sustainable communities.
Just going to the bathroom contributes to algae blooms and deadzones, such as what we have in the Baltic Sea. The reality is that only 7% of the world’s wastewater receives advanced wastewater treatment which means that waste water still contains polluting compounds (nitrogen and phosphorous) which results in nutrient overload and dead zones in aquatic ecosystems.
The global negligence regarding human excreta management is odd, as they contain the same plant nutrients as the fertilisers used to grow the food we consume. We readily use animal manure, so why not human excreta? The impact Sanitation360 wants to make is enabling people to go to the bathroom with confidence that their urine is not contributing to Algae blooms but being reused to grow food.
Urban Tech Helsinki helps Sanitation360 on its way to solve a global challenge
Sanitation360 joined the movement of a smart city with Urban Tech Helsinki, the incubator for clean and sustainable urban solutions. Their experience with the program was beneficial to them since each meeting they have joined has been bang-on in terms of the information and support that the company needs and learn from the experts that are a part of the program and sharing their wealth of knowledge with them. Sanitation360 is hoping to have a pilot project with the City of Helsinki to make a wider impact around the city.
To be able to be a more effective solution to this global crisis, Sanitation360 is looking to raise its first round of investment and expand its team. They are also waiting to welcome active investors and more business experience since they are three engineers from the academic world.
This article was created in collaboration with Urban Tech Helsinki project.