exploring the world of closed-loop organics
Since 2012, our initial focus on micro anaerobic digestion (AD) has branched into urban food growing, hydroponics, digestate filtration, soil health, composting, food-related enterprises and upcycling, working with universities, community groups and businesses. This circular journey highlighted the challenges and exciting opportunities ahead. LEAP is now developing key enabling technology and optimising the next generation of advanced AD systems as well as developing training and enterprise support to empower more resilient, self-sufficient communities.
NOMAD is a 3-year, EC Horizon 2020 funded collaboration (2019-2022), gathering partners from Greece, the UK, Italy, Romania, Malta, the Netherlands and China to address digestate shortcomings by developing an innovative, small-scale tech solution designed to ensure biosecurity, eliminate contaminants, reduce volume and recover nutrients from digestate for formulation into high-performance bio-fertiliser products.
Digestate, is a liquid fertiliser full of valuable recovered nutrients and fibre that farmers can use as renewable inputs. But, long-term impacts on soil, ranging from acidification to decreased worm populations, are only now becoming apparent.
With climate, waste, energy and circular economy policies all driving the growth of AD
worldwide, there is now an urgent need to address these major issues.
Digestate currently represents the AD sector's biggest challenge. This important project could help revolutionise the way it is managed by providing affordable, on-site processing for plants, which lack the space to utilise it on-site. Thus, disposal costs and transport emissions for removing bulky, liquid off-site will be avoided. NOMAD also provide a complete, circular solution for digestates contaminated by antibiotics, plastics, heavy metals, bacteria and viruses.
ECOSMART is a clean energy project that brings LEAP together with Nigerian partners; Solar Sister; Meyana Bioenergy; and Energy and Industry Development Initiative and UK partners; the University of Sheffield and Connected Energy Technologies.
The project is developing a smart, enhanced anaerobic digestion design combined with solar technology to form the basis of a circular economy minigrid model for Sub-Saharan Africa. The project aims to establish an integrated UK Nigerian supply chain that aligns social and gender considerations with economic and environmental benefits.
It's focus on valorising cassava, yam, and mixed market wastes will ensure a high proportion of beneficiaries are women and those on low incomes. Successful delivery would help LEAP achieve its social objectives and support developing countries to leapfrog centralised infrastructure and pioneer innovative, more equitable models of energy generation, organic resource distribution and reuse.
SYMBIOTIC's consortium combines includes Malaysian partners; Future Alam Borneo; Arkitrek and LAX Global with UK partners LEAP, University of West London and University College London,
with expertise spanning novel aerobic/anaerobic digestion technology, advanced PLA production, urban regeneration design, community engagement and innovative circular business modelling.
SYMBIOTIC will explore social and technical synergies in a waste to wealth project that aims to transform Malaysia’s organic and plastic waste streams into high value products. Its circular approach will be applied to a poor region of Sandakan, a coastal town in Sabah, Malaysia, which suffers from inadequate waste infrastructure and high levels of pollution. The project will introduce a scalable solution as part of a circular economy model to reduce poverty and social/gender inequality as well as supporting community engagement, participatory design, behaviour change and urban regeneration design.
A new urban metabolism software and a decision-support tool will be created to assess the long term environmental, social and economic impacts of adopting sustainable, decentralised resource management strategies that can impact recycling rates, deliver affordable renewable energy, reduce pollution, increase enterprise and training opportunities and support local food production.
testing circular models in educational and urban living lab settings
SGS Berkeley Green
Gloucester Science and Technology Park
Calthorpe Living Lab
Calthorpe Community Garden
Camley Street Natural Park
London Wildlife Trust
Poplar Harca, Tower Hamlets
inspiring the next generation of engineers and food producers
Lab scale digester project
University College London Academy
Mobile digester prototype