Terugblik Nederland als Partnerland in 2014. Wirtschafsreport in gesprek met Marco Siebert, directeur Internationale betrekkingen Hannover Messe.
Exclusief interview met Marc Siemering over Hannover Messe 2016.
A project that is saving lives
Around the world, more than 1.1 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water and 2.4 million people do not have access to adequate sanitation. A child dies every 20 seconds as a result of the drinking water problem, and nearly 1,000 children die every day from the effects of diarrhoea due to a lack of sanitation. It really is time that action was taken. “SEMiLLa Sanitation Hubs” wants to contribute to solving the problem with a new sanitary unit which uses biological treatment and filtration to convert urine, greywater and blackwater into clean water, nutrients and biogas. The Dutch start-up will be presenting its idea at Hannover Messe.
This combination of sanitary facilities and immediate conversion into water and nutrients has not previously existed. SEMiLLa Sanitation, founded in 2016, is therefore getting the ball rolling. “We want to enable people all around the world to use sanitary facilities”, emphasises Peter Scheer from HAS University of Applied Sciences, based in Den Bosch, the Netherlands. It is an autonomous system which also guarantees clean drinking water – such a unique idea!
Drinking water, nutrients and biogas
What exactly does the sanitary unit do? It works as a circular system: firstly the unit promotes good hygiene with toilet, washing and showering facilities and secondly the same unit uses biological treatment and filtration to clean and convert the three waste streams – urine, greywater and blackwater – into clean drinking water, nutrients and biogas. The system is mobile, self-contained and can be used straightaway. “It immediately ensures proper hygiene and provides clean drinking water within two days. The nutrients can be used to grow vegetables”, explains Peter Scheer. The sanitary unit, which can be used for 15 years, is very flexible and can be set up anywhere in the world. The local population is trained in how to use and maintain it.
The fallout from the lack of sanitary and drinking water facilities is not just the deaths of many people. It also hinders economic growth due to premature deaths and leads to high healthcare costs.
Disaster zones and refugee camps
The development of self-contained sanitary facilities is something which is close to Peter Scheer’s heart. He still remembers the televised images of 50,000 people fleeing Daesh through the mountains. “Cut off from the rest of the world, with nothing to eat or drink.” His enthusiasm was also triggered by a Smart City Event in Amsterdam and contact with IPStar BV knowledge brokers from MELiSSa. “MELiSSa works for the European Space Agency (ESA) on a fully circular, self-sufficient space flight to Mars. They had the technology to turn my ideas into reality.”
No matter whether it’s disaster zones or refugee camps, the sanitary units will save lives everywhere that aid is desperately and constantly needed. There’s no question as to whether the sanitary unit will be used. Demand will in particular come from world aid organisations and governments.
The sanitary unit is currently under development. HAS University of Applied Sciences in Den Bosch and Ghent University are working together on a prototype under the leadership of high-tech specialists from Holland Innovative.
The roadmap looks like this: “SEMiLLa Sanitation Hubs currently has a sanitary unit at prototype stage which is ready for treating greywater and urine”, reports Peter Scheer. The treatment of blackwater is currently being tested on laboratory scale. The first sanitary units for urine and greywater treatment should be available for use by the fourth quarter of 2017. In the meantime the prototype for blackwater will be built and tested, and work will be carried out at the same time to implement the blackwater, greywater and urine treatment combination. “We are looking for partners and customers”, says Peter Scheer – a call that will surely not go unanswered.
A platform for start-ups
Around 20 innovative start-ups from the Netherlands will be exhibiting at the Start-up and Innovation Square in Hall 4 of Hannover Messe. They will be presenting their companies and showcasing their products to potential customers and investors under the auspices of high-tech experts from Holland Innovative.
Contact person: Peter Scheer
SEMiLLa Sanitation Hubs
Halle 4, Niederländische Gemeinschaftstand