• International Journal of Technology (IJTech)
  • Vol 12, No 1 (2021)

A Growth Kinetics Model for Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) Larvae

A Growth Kinetics Model for Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) Larvae

Title: A Growth Kinetics Model for Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) Larvae
Agus Prasetya, Robby Darmawan, Thya Laurencia Benedita Araujo , Himawan Tri Bayu Murti Petrus, Felix Arie Setiawan

Corresponding email:

Cite this article as:
Prasetya, A., Darmawan, R., Araujo, T.L.B., Petrus, H.T.B.M., Setiawan, F.A., 2021. A Growth Kinetics Model for Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) Larvae. International Journal of Technology. Volume 12(1), pp. 207-216

Agus Prasetya Department of Chemical Engineering, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Jl. Grafika No. 2, Kampus UGM Bulaksumur, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia
Robby Darmawan Department of Chemical Engineering, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Jl. Grafika No. 2, Kampus UGM Bulaksumur, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia
Thya Laurencia Benedita Araujo Department of Chemical Engineering, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Jl. Grafika No. 2, Kampus UGM Bulaksumur, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia
Himawan Tri Bayu Murti Petrus Department of Chemical Engineering, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Jl. Grafika No. 2, Kampus UGM Bulaksumur, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia
Felix Arie Setiawan Department of Chemical Engineering, Universitas Jember, Jl. Kalimantan No. 37, Jember, Jawa Timur 68121, Indonesia
Email to Corresponding Author

A Growth Kinetics Model for Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) Larvae

Known as a promising protein source, black soldier fly (BSF) larva has attracted the attention of many researchers. BSF larvae have the ability to convert organic waste into protein. However, the growth modeling of this process has not been studied previously. Hence, this study generated a BSF larvae growth model to explain BSF larvae production. Vegetable and fruit waste collected from the Gamping fruit market was used as the growth media. The weight of larvae and the leftover substrate were measured for 20 days. The substrate consumed was related to larvae body mass. The model was properly fitted with R-squared values of 0.9988 and 0.9312 for the substrate consumption and larvae growth, respectively. The value of the kinetics constants in this study were 0.847 ± 0.018 g 0.5 day-1 for k1; 0.058 ± 0.019 g-0.5 day-1 for k2; and 0.007 ± 0.013 g-1.0 day-1 for k3­.

Black soldier fly; Growth model kinetics; Larvae; Organic waste


Municipal solid waste (MSW) has become an interesting issue in the sustainable development of human life (Gabriel Andari Kristanto, 2015). The increasing human population directly affects the increase in MSW (Djoko M. Hartono, 2015), and waste generation will increase from 1.2 to 1.42 kg per person per day in the next 15 years (Hoornweg & Bhada-Tata, 2012). Various studies utilize MSW mostly for energy and in agricultural sectors as organic fertilizers (Othman et al., 2013; Rodionov & Nakata, 2011; Yay, 2015). Other studies have also utilized Black Soldier Fly (BSF, Hermetia illucens) larvae as a means of recycling MSW, especially organic MSW (Barragan-Fonseca et al., 2017; ?i?ková et al., 2015; Diener et al., 2015; Diener et al., 2011a; Diener et al., 2011b; Wynants et al., 2019). BSF larvae digest organic MSW to produce proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. The diet of BSF larva consists of mostly vegetable and fruit waste, but they can also digest the manure of humans and animals (Hussein et al., 2017; Li et al., 2011; Xiao et al., 2018).

BSF larvae have the potential to curb MSW generation. The most straightforward utilization of BSF larvae is as animal feed, and a number of researchers have investigated this application (Manzano-Agugliaro et al., 2012; Sánchez-Muros et al., 2014; Tschirner and Simon, 2015;  Surendra et al., 2016;  Hussein et al., 2017;  Su et al., 2019;  Wynants et al., 2019). BSF larvae can also produce biodiesel through fat processing and biologically active substances (Li et al., 2011; Manzano-Agugliaro et al., 2012; Surendra et al., 2016; Su et al., 2019). With the help of enzymes contained in BSF larvae, contaminants in waste and nitrogen levels can be reduced by 50–60% and around 40–62%, respectively (Paz et al., 2015). The use of BSF larvae in MSW recycling has a low technology implementation compared to other MSW recycling methods. Furthermore, it is performed mostly in developing countries. Moreover, the BSF species needs sunlight for successful mating (Oonincx et al., 2016; Sheppard et al., 2002); therefore, BSF larvae can be produced in countries with tropical and subtropical climates.

Indonesia, a developing country with a tropical climate, produces mostly organic or decaying waste (Damanhuri, 2010). This type of waste includes food or agricultural waste that decomposes easily through the activities of decomposing microorganisms (Shukor et al., 2018). Around 74% of the waste in Indonesia is domestic waste, and almost all of it is disposed of in landfills (Guerrero et al., 2013; Shekdar, 2009). According to Darmawan (2014), the majority of the organic waste in Indonesia is agricultural waste, and some of it is food waste(rice, vegetables, and leftover side dishes). By utilizing BSF larvae, organic matter can be reduced by 70% (Lalander et al., 2015). Based on some reports, the waste treatment system using BSF larvae has been proven to eliminate Salmonella sp., so that BSF is a healthy larva to be used as a protein source (Gabler & Vinnerås, 2014; LEE et al., 2018). Interestingly, the byproducts of waste treatment using BSF larvae can be used as compost (Xiao et al. (2018); Zurbrügg et al. (2018).

Studies have investigated the feasibility of using BSF larvae in recycling MSW in terms of nutrition, microorganism contamination, survival rate, waste reduction index, and the efficiency of conversion of digested feed. This study developed a BSF larvae growth model in the presence of feed, such as fruit waste and vegetable waste. The growth kinetics model of BSF larvae was proposed to understand the effect of feed additives and to estimate the amount of BSF larvae produced within a specified time. The correlation between feed and BSF larvae growth was investigated in this study. Thus, the data provides information on the appropriate design methods for BSF larvae apparatus and enables the estimation of the feasibility of this recycling method.


This study resulted in the construction of the first ever BSF larvae growth model. The R-squared values of the model for substrate consumption and larvae growth were 

The growth model could be useful in scale-up calculations. However, further research should be conducted to analyze and break down the waste reduction fraction variable to uncover the parameters that affect BSF larvae growth.


Barragan-Fonseca, K.B., Dicke, M., van Loon, J.J., 2017. Nutritional Value of the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens L.) and its Suitability as Animal Feed–a Review. Journal of Insects as Food and Feed, Volume 3(2), pp. 105120

?i?ková, H., Newton, G.L., Lacy, R.C., Kozánek, M., 2015. The Use of Fly Larvae for Organic Waste Treatment. Waste Management, Volume 35, pp. 6880

Damanhuri, E., 2010. Diktat Pengelolaan Sampah (Waste Management Dictate). Jurusan Teknik Lingkungan FTSL ITB, pp. 530

Darmawan, M., 2014. Kajian pengolahan sampah di TPST Mulyoagung Bersatu, Kecamatan Dau, Kabupaten Malang (Study of Solid Waste Treatment at Mulyoagung Bersatu Recycling Facility in Dau Sub-District, Malang District). Bachelor Graduate Program, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Surabaya, Indonesia

Diener, S., Lalander, C., Zurbrügg, C., Vinnerås, B., 2015. Opportunities and Constraints for Medium-Scale Organic Waste Treatment with Fly Larvae Composting. In: Proceedings of the 15th International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium, Cagliari, Sardinia

Diener, S., Solano, N.M.S., Gutiérrez, F.R., Zurbrügg, C., Tockner, K., 2011b. Biological Treatment of Municipal Organic Waste using Black Soldier Fly Larvae. Waste and Biomass Valorization, Volume 2(4), pp. 357363

Diener, S., Zurbrügg, C., Gutiérrez, F.R., Nguyen, D.H., Morel, A., Koottatep, T., Tockner, K., 2011a. Black Soldier Fly Larvae for Organic Waste Treatment-Prospects and Constraints. Proceedings of the WasteSafe, Volume 2, pp. 1315

Diener, S., Zurbrügg, C., Tockner, K., 2009. Conversion of Organic Material by Black Soldier Fly Larvae: Establishing Optimal Feeding Rates. Waste Management & Research, Volume 27(6), pp. 603610

Gabler, F., Vinnerås, B., 2014. Using Black Soldier Fly for Waste Recy-cling and Effective Salmonella spp. Reduction. (Project based internship). Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Swedish

Guerrero, L.A., Maas, G., Hogland, W., 2013. Solid Waste Management Challenges for Cities in Developing Countries. Waste Management, Volume 33(1), pp. 220232

Hakim, A.R., Prasetya, A., Petrus, H.T., 2017. The Potential of Hermetia illucens Larvae as Reducer of Industrial Fish Processing Waste. Jurnal Perikanan Universitas Gadjah Mada, Volume 19(1), 3944

Hartono, D.M, Kristanto, G.A., Amin, S., 2015. Potential Reduction of Solid Waste Generated from Traditional and Modern Markets. International Journal of Technology, Volume 6(5), pp. 291319

Hoornweg, D., Bhada-Tata, P., 2012. What a Waste: A Global Review of Solid Waste Management. Urban Development Series; Knowledge Papers no. 15. World Bank, Washington, DC, World Bank

Horwitz, W., Chichilo, P., Reynolds, H., 1970. Official Methods of Analysis of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists. In: Official Methods of Analysis of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists.: Washington, DC, USA: Association of Official Analytical Chemists

Hussein, M., Pillai, V.V., Goddard, J.M., Park, H.G., Kothapalli, K.S., Ross, D.A., Ketterings, Q.M., Brenna, J.T., Milstein, M.B., Marquis, H., 2017. Sustainable Production of Housefly (Musca domestica) Larvae as a Protein-Rich Feed Ingredient by Utilizing Cattle Manure. PLoS One, Volume 12(2), e0171708

Kristanto, G.A., Gusniani, I., Ratna, A., 2015. The Performance of Municipal Solid Waste Recycling Program in Depok, Indonesia. International Journal of Technology, Volume 6(2), pp. 291319

Lalander, C.H., Fidjeland, J., Diener, S., Eriksson, S., Vinnerås, B., 2015. High Waste-To-Biomass Conversion and Efficient Salmonella Spp. Reduction using Black Soldier Fly for Waste Recycling. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, Volume 35(1), pp. 261271

Lee, J.-A., Kim, Y.-M., Park, Y.-K., Yang, Y.-C., Jung, B.-G., Lee, B.-J., 2018. Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia Illucens) Larvae Enhances Immune Activities and Increases Survivability of Broiler Chicks Against Experimental Infection of Salmonella Gallinarum. Journal of Veterinary Medical Science, Volume 80(5), pp. 736–740

Li, Q., Zheng, L., Qiu, N., Cai, H., Tomberlin, J.K., Yu, Z., 2011. Bioconversion of Dairy Manure by Black Soldier Fly (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) for Biodiesel and Sugar Production. Waste Management, Volume 31(6), pp. 13161320

Liu, X., Chen, X., Wang, H., Yang, Q., ur Rehman, K., Li, W., Cai, M., Li, Q., Mazza, L., Zhang, J., 2017. Dynamic Changes of Nutrient Composition Throughout the Entire Life Cycle of Black Soldier Fly. PLoS One, Volume 12(8): e0182601. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0182601

Manzano-Agugliaro, F., Sanchez-Muros, M., Barroso, F., Martínez-Sánchez, A., Rojo, S., Pérez-Bañón, C., 2012. Insects for Biodiesel Production. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 16(6), pp. 37443753

Mohd-Noor, S.-N., Wong, C.-Y., Lim, J.-W., Uemura, Y., Lam, M.-K., Ramli, A., Bashir, M.J., Tham, L., 2017. Optimization of Self-Fermented Period of Waste Coconut Endosperm Destined to Feed Black Soldier Fly Larvae in Enhancing the Lipid and Protein Yields. Renewable Energy, Volume 111, pp. 646654

Nyakeri, E., Ogola, H., Ayieko, M., Amimo, F., 2017. An Open System for Farming Black Soldier Fly Larvae as a Source of Proteins for Smallscale Poultry and Fish Production. Journal of Insects as Food and Feed, Volume 3(1), pp. 5156

Oonincx, D., Volk, N., Diehl, J., Van Loon, J., Beluši?, G., 2016. Photoreceptor Spectral Sensitivity of the Compound Eyes of Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) Informing the Design of LED-based Illumination to Enhance Indoor Reproduction. Journal of Insect Physiology, Volume 95, pp. 133139

Othman, S.N., Noor, Z.Z., Abba, A.H., Yusuf, R.O., Hassan, M.A.A., 2013. Review on Life Cycle Assessment of Integrated Solid Waste Management in Some Asian Countries. Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 41, pp.  251262

Paz, A.S.P., Carrejo, N.S., Rodríguez, C.H.G., 2015. Effects of Larval Density and Feeding Rates on the Bioconversion of Vegetable Waste using Black Soldier Fly Larvae Hermetia illucens (L.),(Diptera: Stratiomyidae). Waste and Biomass Valorization, Volume 6(6), pp. 10591065

Rodionov, M., Nakata, T., 2011. Design of an Optimal Waste Utilization System: A Case Study in St. Petersburg, Russia. Sustainability, Volume 3(9), pp. 14861509

Sánchez-Muros, M.-J., Barroso, F.G., Manzano-Agugliaro, F., 2014. Insect Meal as Renewable Source of Food for Animal Feeding: A Review. Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 65, pp. 1627

Scriber, J., Slansky Jr, F., 1981. The Nutritional Ecology of Immature Insects. Annual Review of Entomology, Volume 26(1), pp. 183211

Shekdar, A.V., 2009. Sustainable Solid Waste Management: An Integrated Approach for Asian Countries. Waste Management, Volume 29(4), pp. 14381448

Sheppard, D.C., Tomberlin, J.K., Joyce, J.A., Kiser, B.C., Sumner, S.M., 2002. Rearing Methods for the Black Soldier Fly (Diptera: Stratiomyidae). Journal of Medical Entomology, Volume 39(4), pp. 695698

Shukor, J.A., Omar, M.F., Kasim, M.M., Jamaludin, M.H., Naim, M.A., 2018. Assessment of Composting Technologies for Organic Waste Management. International Journal of Technology, Volume 9(8), pp. 291319

Su, C.-H., Nguyen, H.C., Bui, T.L., Huang, D.-L., 2019. Enzyme-Assisted Extraction of Insect Fat for Biodiesel Production. Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 223, pp. 436444

Surendra, K., Olivier, R., Tomberlin, J.K., Jha, R., Khanal, S.K., 2016. Bioconversion of Organic Wastes into Biodiesel and Animal Feed via Insect Farming. Renewable Energy, Volume 98, pp. 197202

Tinder, A.C., Puckett, R., Turner, N., Cammack, J., Tomberlin, J., 2017. Bioconversion of Sorghum and Cowpea by Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens (L.)) Larvae for Alternative Protein Production. Journal of Insects as Food and Feed, Volume 3(2), pp. 121130

Tschirner, M., Simon, A., 2015. Influence of Different Growing Substrates and Processing on the Nutrient Composition of Black Soldier Fly Larvae Destined for Animal Feed. Journal of Insects as Food and Feed, Volume 1(4), pp. 249259

Wynants, E., Frooninckx, L., Crauwels, S., Verreth, C., De Smet, J., Sandrock, C., Wohlfahrt, J., Van Schelt, J., Depraetere, S., Lievens, B., 2019. Assessing the Microbiota of Black Soldier Fly Larvae (Hermetia illucens) Reared on Organic Waste Streams on Four Different Locations at Laboratory and Large Scale. Microbial Ecology, Volume 77(4), pp. 913930

Xiao, X., Mazza, L., Yu, Y., Cai, M., Zheng, L., Tomberlin, J.K., Yu, J., van Huis, A., Yu, Z.,  Fasulo, S., 2018. Efficient Co-conversion Process of Chicken Manure into Protein Feed and Organic Fertilizer by Hermetia illucens L. (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) larvae and Functional Bacteria. Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 217, pp. 668676

Yay, A.S.E., 2015. Application of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for Municipal Solid Waste Management: A Case Study of Sakarya. Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 94, pp. 284293

Zurbrügg, C., Dortmans, B., Fadhila, A., Verstappen, B., Diener, S., 2018. From Pilot to Full Scale Operation of a Waste-To-Protein Treatment Facility. Detritus, Volume 1(1), pp. 18