SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication Sun, 26 Jun 2016 15:33:18 +0000 Kunena 1.6 SuSanA - Forum en-gb Re: The Nano Membrane Toilet - by: AParker
T. Onabanjo, K. Patchigolla, S.T. Wagland, B. Fidalgo, A. Kolios, E. McAdam, A. Parker, L.Williams, S. Tyrrel, E. Cartmell, Energy recovery from human faeces via gasification: A thermodynamic equilibrium modelling approach, Energy Conversion and Management 118:364-376

Non-sewered sanitary systems (NSS) are emerging as one of the solutions to poor sanitation because of the limitations of the conventional flush toilet. These new sanitary systems are expected to safely treat faecal waste and operate without external connections to a sewer, water supply or energy source. The Nano Membrane Toilet (NMT) is a unique domestic-scale sanitary solution currently being developed to treat human waste on-site. This toilet will employ a small-scale gasifier to convert human faeces into products of high energy value. This study investigated the suitability of human faeces as a feedstock for gasification. It quantified the recoverable exergy potential from human faeces and explored the optimal routes for thermal conversion, using a thermodynamic equilibrium model. Fresh human faeces were found to have approximately 70–82 wt.% moisture and 3–6 wt.% ash. Product gas resulting from a typical dry human faeces (0 wt.% moisture) had LHV and exergy values of 17.2 MJ/kg and 24 MJ/kg respectively at optimum equivalence ratio of 0.31, values that are comparable to wood biomass. For suitable conversion of moist faecal samples, near combustion operating conditions are required, if an external energy source is not supplied. This is however at 5% loss in the exergy value of the gas, provided both thermal heat and energy of the gas are recovered. This study shows that the maximum recoverable exergy potential from an average adult moist human faeces can be up to 15 MJ/kg, when the gasifier is operated at optimum equivalence ratio of 0.57, excluding heat losses, distribution or other losses that result from operational activities.]]>
Processing technologies for excreta or faecal sludge Thu, 09 Jun 2016 17:09:51 +0000
“Sustainable sanitation uses the basic principles of nature to look for closing the cycles of water and nutrients, applying modern, sustainable and safe technologies”.

A careful analysis of the value chain identifies opportunities for inclusive development, therefore it is vital to promote effective dialogue between stakeholders, which helps to identify the "limitations and opportunities" and, at the same time facilitates partnerships between private sector and public institutions.
In this chain approach, the facilitator of process (SNV) plays a key role in the development of value chains - as a mediator between stakeholders- generating knowledge, advising the different actors of the chain and, more frequently, facilitating articulation of the links for a proper execution of processes along the chain.
The goal will always be to strengthen links so as to achieve self-sustainability of systems. An important part of this process is, for instance, improving access to finance of the most sensitive links, which without a proper chain approach and with no effective coordination, could not access traditional financing offers as stakeholders (or links) independent of the system. Finally, the value chain approach entails addressing institutional and governance aspects of the system to promote a favorable environment for their development.

Therefore, the value chain approach brings a useful tool to study and design specific interventions that strengthen the operation of a system providing basic services as sensitive to human development as it is sanitation. In particular, Decentralized Sustainable Sanitation (DSS), analyzed from the chain approach, is configured as a system of multiple stakeholders, tasks, services and –hence- links.

DSS, by its nature, requires a vision that not only assess the integrity of the system, but also that each stage of sanitation, sustainability and growth can be studied, both from their approach to access to basic services, as well as from their perspective of sustainable solution for ecological sanitation .

It is relevant to point out that the concept of sustainability is broad and also refers to environmental sustainability, under two perspectives: i) negative effects which cause an accelerated reduction of water sources; ii) the negative effects caused by improper handling and disposal of excreta are deposited directly on the ground without any treatment. To do this, DSS systems are characterized by the minimum and effective use of water resources.

As it can be seen from this brief reference to the DSS and ecological sanitation, the topic at hand is, from every point of view, an enabling setting for analysis from the perspective of value chain.

Providing safe and sustainable sanitation services to people means more than simply provide a latrine or toilet. Indeed this approach has often failed. Instead, the DSS means understanding the contexts in which poor people live and how businesses (or cooperative) and local government are investing in developing opportunities along the entire value chain sanitation. Therefore from our approach the chain does not begin with the collection and storage of human excreta, but rather begins long before with a social process (if not economic) of self-conviction of the need to transform the traditional practices of latrines, septic tanks or open field use (all of which are harmful to health and the environment) for a more efficient, ecological and sustainable innovative system.

In the light of these considerations, we are able to describe the DSS value chain, which has been developed in Bolivia in recent years, taking as a study case the Composting Dry Toilets integrated to some collection, transport, processing and waste recycling systems.

This table and graphical representation (Figure 1) shows that the sanitation chain is a sequence -more or less- organized activities in which different stakeholders can participate at each level (or link) and also various actors along the chain. That is to say in an analysis of industrial organization (basic sanitation industry) is perfectly possible that the process becomes progressively more efficient as technology improves (in each link) and market incentives are incorporated.

Thus for example, where different suppliers and consumers of service along the chain, can create incentives for process improvement gains in efficiency, improved quality and fundamentally sustainability of the entire system.

If in the DSS sanitation industry, with Eco Dry Toilets technology interconnected by a collection, transport, treatment and reuse of waste system there would be a single operator, may occur cross subsidies schemes permanently -among links- and also opportunities for service improvement could not be displayed correctly. In a –theoretical- scheme as the Figure 2 is possible to visualize the features of supply and demand for each link and, consequently, to maximize efficiency.

If on the contrary, in the analysis of the entire chain and its parts, we find that sustainability were at risk by technological features (e.g., high system infrastructure costs), we can find and justify the existing advantages in market integration at different levels

This market analysis-but also the analysis of processes and institutional arrangements present in DSS- is accomplished if the system is correctly displayed as a value chain; where, in the absence of sufficient market incentives, a facilitator as SNV is a key agent to promote that stakeholders of the chain are located and establish steady relationships to enable the development and consolidation of the DSS system as a strategic response to conventional sanitation system.]]>
Processing technologies for excreta or faecal sludge Wed, 08 Jun 2016 20:15:10 +0000
Re: South African Sanitation Technology Demonstration Programme (SASTEP) - BMGF-DST Partnership - by: swoolley The SASTEP EarthAuger implementation is well underway, and more than half of the 200 units are now on the ground!

The superstructure used in this demonstration is a prefabricated concrete superstructure, developed by Rocla, and takes approximately 20 minutes to erect.

Dr Chuck Henry and myself were documenting the implementation, and will have several videos demonstrating how accessible this dignified sanitation solution is to implement in rural areas. However, a rough video on the installation of the superstructure is already available:

Dr. Chuck Henry, the developer of the Earth Auger, also discusses the unit here:;limit=1000#18162]]>
Processing technologies for excreta or faecal sludge Tue, 07 Jun 2016 10:08:26 +0000
Re: Sustainable Decentralized Wastewater Management in Developing Countries (AIT, Thailand) - by: F H Mughal Four Innovative Environment Friendly Sanitation Products

According to the AIT June 2016 Newsletter, available at:, and at: , the AIT (Bangkok-based Asian Institute of Technology), officially launched four innovative environment friendly sanitation products, that AIT experts believe would help Thailand take the lead in improving the quality of life in both Asia and Africa, where they will be implemented.

Dr. Thammarat Koottatep, the Principal Investigator of the project said: “The idea is to have an on-site treatment that is decentralized so that we can avoid transportation of fecal matter over long distances.” He said that these products will help establish Thailand as a leader in water and sanitation technologies in the entire ASEAN region and beyond.

These four projects are: a sanitation truck that cleans all sludge; a cyclone toilet that uses gravity for cleaning; a pit that treats sludge before discharging it to the environment; and a solar toilet.

The innovative products were unveiled at AIT on 26 May 2016. The four technology products are the result of a five-year project titled “Reinventing the Toilet” that was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dr. Doulay Koné, Deputy Director, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation remarked: “AIT has done an excellent job, and now that the technology is ready, we are eagerly looking forward towards its implementation in both Asia and Africa.”

What are these four products (technologies)? Perhaps, Dr. Thammarat Koottatep may like to highlight these four technologies, in great details, on this forum.

F H Mughal]]>
Processing technologies for excreta or faecal sludge Mon, 06 Jun 2016 04:43:24 +0000
Decentralised sustainable sanitation and gender mainstreaming in Sucre, Bolivia - by: mayala]]>
Processing technologies for excreta or faecal sludge Wed, 01 Jun 2016 20:09:57 +0000
Re: South African Sanitation Technology Demonstration Programme (SASTEP) - BMGF-DST Partnership - by: SudhirPillay Processing technologies for excreta or faecal sludge Fri, 27 May 2016 09:09:52 +0000 Re: Reinvent the Toilet Challenge - China Regional Program - Introduction and update on progress - by: zifuli
To your questions:
1. Yes, the targeted groups are the people of Africa and south Asia.
2. Yes, the selection committee tried to select the proposals which could meet the criteria for RTTC based on the priority of innovative tech., safety, "off the grid", economic aspect, etc.
3. It is planned that some of prototypes will be tested and demonstrated in Africa at the end of this year.

Best greetings

Processing technologies for excreta or faecal sludge Wed, 11 May 2016 01:19:11 +0000
Re: The Nano Membrane Toilet - by: AParker
Thanks for your interest in the Nano Membrane Toilet. It's not actually so different, really the main thing is the addition of the gasifier and pelletiser.

The ash will be disposed of with the household solid waste - and of course there will be a way of releasing it form the gasifier. The design is still under development so this is just representative!

You're welcome to use the text on the front page of our website for your article:

Processing technologies for excreta or faecal sludge Mon, 09 May 2016 08:51:43 +0000
Re: The Nano Membrane Toilet - by: mwaniki
Thanks for publishing the modified diagram of the nano membrane toilet. This version is very different from the one that was reported in the Africa Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Jan – Feb 2016 edition.

However, am curious to ask what happens to the ash after the waste is turned into energy in the gasifier. I can’t see any release screw underneath the chamber.

And if you could kindly let us have the accompanying text (maybe 200 words or thereabout), we could reprint it in the oncoming edition of the above publication for the benefit of our audience.

Regards / Mwaniki]]>
Processing technologies for excreta or faecal sludge Sat, 07 May 2016 01:48:50 +0000
Re: The Nano Membrane Toilet - by: AParker

We're also starting to publish some of the science behind the Nano Membrane Toilet in open access academic journals, which I will share shortly.]]>
Processing technologies for excreta or faecal sludge Fri, 06 May 2016 12:56:04 +0000
Mobile toilets working as a good sanitation solution in Bolivia - by: mayala]]> Processing technologies for excreta or faecal sludge Tue, 19 Apr 2016 20:27:21 +0000 Re: Safe sludge – The disinfection of latrine faecal sludge with ammonia naturally present in excreta (University of California, Berkeley, USA) - by: muench
Here are the details:

In-toilet disinfection of fresh fecal sludge with ammonia naturally present in excreta

Temitope A. Ogunyoku, Fikreselam Habebo, Kara L. Nelson
Published March 2016, 6 (1) 104-114; DOI: 10.2166/washdev.2015.233


A simple treatment method, Safe Sludge disinfection, was developed to disinfect pathogens in fresh fecal sludge using the ammonia naturally present in excreta. In the first step, urea is hydrolyzed to ammonia (NH3/NH4+). In the second step, Ca(OH)2 is added to raise the pH level such that NH3, a known disinfectant, is the dominant form of ammonia; subsequently, the waste is stored until sufficient disinfection is achieved. In a closed system at 23 °C, Safe Sludge disinfection achieved >9.3 log10 and >4.0 log10 decrease of indigenous Escherichia coli and seeded MS2 coliphage, respectively, within 10.6 hours, and 2.0 log10 inactivation of seeded Ascaris suum eggs within 2 weeks.

Disinfection of feces at high pH with no urine addition was tested for comparison, and similar inactivation levels were achieved for E. coli and MS2 bacteriophage. However, for Ascaris eggs only 0.38 log10 inactivation was achieved over 2 weeks. For control samples (feces plus urine only), no inactivation of bacteria or virus indicators was observed and inactivation of Ascaris eggs was also low (0.42 log10). To illustrate how the Safe Sludge concept could be incorporated into a waterless household toilet, a conceptual design and prototype was developed, called the pHree Loo.


P.S. I noticed that the question by Patty from 2 years ago haven't been answered yet. I will try to alert the people from the project to them, perhaps they could still answer them.]]>
Processing technologies for excreta or faecal sludge Mon, 21 Mar 2016 02:34:13 +0000
Equipment and health and safety modifications required for developing the capacity to support grantees field-testing in Durban, South Africa (UKZN) - by: ChrisBuckley
If you have any questions, please put them into this thread.


Title of grant: Equipment and health and safety modifications required for developing the capacity to support grantees field-testing in Durban, SA

Name of lead organization: University of KwaZulu-Natal
Primary contact at lead organization: Chris Buckley
Grantee location: Durban, South Africa
Countries where the project takes place: South Africa, Senegal, East Africa and India
Start and end date: 10 Nov. 2014 to 31 Oct. 2017
Grant type: Other (supporting researchers from the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge scheme, but also other researchers)
Grant size: USD 1,600,432 (as per BMGF grant database here)

Short description of the project:

The grant was awarded to the Pollution Research Group (PRG) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in order to increase the capacity of the PRG to provide support to sanitation practitioners working in the faecal sludge management field. This included covering the cost of upgrading the laboratory to increase health and safety (improved extraction, storage etc.), provide more space for visiting researchers, and to purchase analytical equipment to increase the range of tests that can be undertaken.

In addition, the PRG offers training support to other laboratories wishing to undertake similar analyses. Staff labour costs of the PRG are covered by the grant, but all other costs such as chemicals, consumables, and travel and subsistence need to be covered by the researcher requesting assistance. Application for support can be made to Chris Buckley via email ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

  • To augment the services provided to transformative technology grantees and sanitation practitioners wishing to demonstrate their technologies in Eastern Africa
  • To provide laboratory and testing services to SteP (Sanitation Technology Evaluation Programme) in which prototypes developed by the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge and other initiatives are operated in a realistic environment (Senegal, Durban and Coimbatore)
  • To provide laboratory, and field testing support services to faecal sludge researchers

  • To have a laboratory, field testing and office facilities available for use by faecal sludge researchers
  • Increase the chemical, physical and microbiological data available of relevance to faecal sludge researchers

Research or implementation partners:
  • eThekwini Water and Sanitation
  • Water Research Commission of South Africa
  • Research partners: Durban University of Technology, Sanergy; Centre for Science and the Enviroment; Eawag; Sandec; Asian Institute of Technology; BORDA; Oklahoma State University; UNESCO-IHE; University College London

Links, further readings – results to date:

Current state of affairs:
  • The offices and laboratory at the PRG, University of KwaZulu-Natal are currently being refurbished and are operating with reduced capacity. The Newlands Mashu laboratory and facilities are fully functional
  • The laboratory technicians are conducting training courses in Africa and India on methods for the analysis of faecal sludge streams (including Ascaris analysis) and health and safety in dealing with such streams.
  • The mechanical workshop is manufacturing a nitrification reactor for Sanergy
  • One of the engineers is assisting UNESCO-IHE in the manufacture and field evaluation of equipment

Biggest successes so far:
  • Assisting laboratories in Africa and India in the range of analyses that they can undertake. This includes Sanergy (Kenya), Consortium for DEWATS Dissemination (CDD) Laboratory (Bangalore, India), Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) Laboratory (Delhi, India), University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Mzuzu University (Malawi) and Malawi University (Malawi). Training has also been undertaken at the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand.
  • Training researchers from Botswana University and University of Western Province in the Pollution Research Group laboratory in undertaking faecal sludge analysis.

Main challenges / frustration:
  • Being housed in the middle of a building site – but the end result will be an expanded facility
Processing technologies for excreta or faecal sludge Tue, 01 Mar 2016 14:36:12 +0000
RTI Reinvent the Toilet - September and October 2015 User Studies: Ahmedabad, India Summary Field Report - by: thaddeushunt

Here's a quick intro:

This report presents the findings from a set of 32 FGDs conducted with groups of potential users who were able to observe the alpha prototype on the CEPT University campus in September and October 2015. These FGDs build on previous data collection activities and technical research and development (R&D) efforts. RTI and its partners designed the FGDs in this round to collect information from potential users of the RTI prototype system on a variety of topics:
  • water reuse in the RTI system
  • menstrual hygiene management (MHM)
  • men’s practices and preferences
  • reactions to particular features of the RTI prototype user interface

Processing technologies for excreta or faecal sludge Tue, 16 Feb 2016 14:56:27 +0000
Grant update: Viscous Heating for Helminth Deactivation in Fecal Sludge - by: garyfoutchosu
Title of grant: Viscous Heating for Helminth Deactivation in Fecal Sludge (200 to 1000 Liters/Hour)
Subtitle: Scale-up of viscous heater technology
Name of lead organization: University of Missouri – Kansas City
Primary contact at lead organization: Gary L Foutch
Grantee location: Kansas City, Missouri
Country where the research is being tested: At UKZN in Durban, South Africa
Start and end date: January to December 2016
Grant type: Initially we were a GCE, now funded by Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Global Development
Grant size: USD 336,733 (as per BMGF grant database here)

Short description of the project:

We were successful in destroying Helminth eggs, particularly Ascaris lumbricoides, in VIP sludge during Phase 2 using viscous heating. Our next step is to scale-up the equipment for larger flow rates. This year we will design, build and test equipment that can operate effectively at 200 and 1000 L/hr. Our computational fluid dynamics design is underway with construction of devices beginning in May and testing in Durban during late summer and fall. Viscous heating allows any viscous fluid to heat itself on the molecular level by passing it through a shear field. No additional heating is required, we have achieved experimental temperatures up to 190 C. For Ascaris, no eggs have survived 80 C effluent temperatures. Water addition is not desired.

Goal(s): Prove that viscous heating can work at scale.

Research or implementation partners: Oklahoma State University – Jim Smay, lead, and University of KwaZulu-Natal – Chris Buckley, lead

Links, further readings – results to date:

Documents from Phase 1 and 2 in SuSanA library:

Important peer-reviewed journal articles from Phase 1 (note they are all behind a paywall, sorry about that (however, I can send you the pdf file on a one-on-one basis on request; just drop me a note using the contact button on the left); in 2016 we plan to publish more in open access mode):

  1. Podichetty, Jagdeep T., Md Waliul Islam, David Van, Gary L. Foutch, and A. H. Johannes. "Viscous heating analysis of simulant feces by computational fluid dynamics and experimentation." Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development 4, no. 1 (2014): 62-71.
  2. Woolley, S. M., C. A. Buckley, J. Pocock, and G. L. Foutch. "Rheological modelling of fresh human faeces." Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development 4, no. 3 (2014): 484-489,
  3. Belcher, D., G. L. Foutch, J. Smay, C. Archer, and C. A. Buckley. "Viscous heating effect on deactivation of helminth eggs in ventilated improved pit sludge." Water Science and Technology 72, no. 7 (2015): 1119-1126,
  4. Thomas, J. E., J. T. Podichetty, Y. Shi, D. Belcher, R. Dunlap, K. McNamara, M. V. Reichard, J. Smay, A. J. Johannes, and G. L. Foutch. "Effect of temperature and shear stress on the viability of Ascaris suum." Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development 5, no. 3 (2015): 402-411,
  5. Podichetty, Jagdeep T., Gary L. Foutch, A. H. Johannes, Jim Smay, and Md Waliul Islam. "Designing a high-throughput viscous heater to process feces: heater geometry." Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development 5, no. 3 (2015): 521-524,

Current state of affairs: Scale-up design is underway.

Biggest successes so far: The technology works.

Main challenges / frustration: We need sufficient viscosity to generate heat and the sludge requires screening of tramp materials.

Questions or comments? Please put them in this thread.

Processing technologies for excreta or faecal sludge Thu, 11 Feb 2016 11:55:18 +0000