Smouldering combustion as a treatment technology for faeces: Exploring the parameter space

Yerman, L, Hadden, Rory M, Carrascal, J, Fabris, Ivo, Cormier, Daniel, Torero, Jose L, Gerhard, Jason I, Krajcovic, Michal, Pironi, Paolo and Cheng, Yu-Ling (2015) Smouldering combustion as a treatment technology for faeces: Exploring the parameter space. Fuel, 147 108-116. doi:10.1016/j.fuel.2015.01.055

Author Yerman, L
Hadden, Rory M
Carrascal, J
Fabris, Ivo
Cormier, Daniel
Torero, Jose L
Gerhard, Jason I
Krajcovic, Michal
Pironi, Paolo
Cheng, Yu-Ling
Title Smouldering combustion as a treatment technology for faeces: Exploring the parameter space
Journal name Fuel   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0016-2361
Publication date 2015-05-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.fuel.2015.01.055
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 147
Start page 108
End page 116
Total pages 9
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Elsevier Ltd
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The poor management of human excreta in developing countries is among the most prominent global issues due to its negative impact on public health. This work demonstrates for the first time that self-sustaining smouldering of faeces mixed with sand is a feasible alternative to incineration for rapid destruction of waste. Self-sustaining smouldering requires minimal energy input and pre-drying of faeces compared to incineration. This process ensures the elimination of biological hazards via long residence times (>20 min) at high temperatures (>400 °C). Surrogate faeces which exhibits similar energetic, thermal, and mechanical properties to real faeces are used in this study. The parameters controlling the combustion process including moisture content, airflow rate, and sand-to-faeces ratio are mapped to establish the range of conditions where self-sustaining smouldering of faeces can be achieved. Experiments were conducted within the ranges 0–75% for moisture content, 7–108 g/min for airflow rate and 2.75–11.9 g/g for sand-to-faeces (wet basis) ratio. Preliminary validation of the parameter space is done using real dog faeces. In this work, the parameter space defining the range of conditions where self-sustaining smouldering occurs is mapped. Results show successful self-sustaining smouldering of faeces for moisture contents of up to 60%, airflow ranging from 10 to 100 g/min, and wet sand-to-faeces ratio greater than 3.25. This proof-of-concept for a smouldering reactor to treat human solid waste demonstrates that smouldering of faeces could be the basis for a new, energy efficient waste treatment approach.
Keyword Smouldering combustion
Waste management
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Civil Engineering Publications
Official 2016 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 9 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 9 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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