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Continuous, self-sustaining smouldering destruction of simulated faeces

Fabris, I; Cormier, D; Gerhard, JI; Bartczak, T; Kortschot, M; Torero, JL; Cheng, YL; (2017) Continuous, self-sustaining smouldering destruction of simulated faeces. Fuel , 190 pp. 58-66. 10.1016/j.fuel.2016.11.014. Green open access

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Abstract

A new approach for the rapid destruction of human waste using smouldering combustion is presented. Recently, self-sustaining smouldering combustion was shown to destroy the organic component of simulated human solid waste and dog faeces resulting in the sanitization of all pathogens using a batch process (Yermán et al., 2015). Here, a continuous smouldering process is demonstrated for the first time, allowing for a much smaller reactor size and much less energy input per mass of waste treated. The self-sustained smouldering of simulated human faeces mixed with sand is evaluated over long periods (more than 16 h) based on a single ignition. The key process of intermittent self-sustained smouldering, in which the reaction is terminated and restarted by only turning the air off and on, is demonstrated. Experiments examine the influence of two key operator controls: airflow rate and set elevation of the quasi-steady-state smouldering front in a 37 cm high reactor. Quasi-steady-state fuel destruction rates from 93 g/h to 12 g/h were achieved by varying the superficial flow velocity from 7.4 cm/s to 0.11 cm/s, the latter with a velocity approximately an order of magnitude lower than possible for a self-sustaining reaction in an equivalent batch system. Excess energy of up to 140 J/g of sand was recovered from the clean sand produced in each cycle, which could be used to further increase the energy efficiency of this novel waste treatment system.

Type: Article
Title: Continuous, self-sustaining smouldering destruction of simulated faeces
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2016.11.014
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2016.11.014
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Smouldering combustion, Faeces, Remediation, Waste management.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10069649
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