With a little moisture removal, fecal sludge can be burned as a clean, renewable fuel.
Fecal sludge — the content removed from pit latrines and septic tanks — is hard to deal with. Even where treatment plants exist, though liquid portions may be rendered safe for release to the environment, the solids accumulate and require further management and disposal.
When resources are tight, the solids are left to build up in the treatment systems, degrading their performance. But even the best-case scenario isn’t sustainable: the solids are removed and merely landfilled.
Inspired by the widespread use of sewage sludge as a fuel for cement plants, we’re developing a business around processing fecal sludge as a fuel for industrial boilers and kilns. Through our work with the FaME consortium in Ghana, Senegal and Uganda, we’ve found that the solids portion of fecal sludge has an energy value similar to coal.
Our business will harness that energy by processing, branding and marketing fecal sludge as a clean, renewable fuel to industries.
Reinventing fecal sludge as fuel not only provides a safe and sustainable sanitation solution, but it reduces industrial consumption of dirty fossil fuels. Where one finds cities, one finds fecal sludge and industry. Our business brings the two together.