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Pilot facility launched in Ghana to transform human waste into renewable biodiesel fuel
Date:11/19/2012

Kumasi, Ghana November 19, 2012 To celebrate World Toilet Day on November 19, researchers at Columbia University's Engineering School, working in Ghana with Waste Enterprisers Ltd., the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), and the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, are launching a pilot facility to convert fecal sludge into biodiesel fuel, thereby addressing a ubiquitous societal problem and concurrently producing renewable, cost-effective sustainable energy. The team is scaling up its research efforts initiated in a Columbia Engineering lab, and expects this working facility to become a revolutionary new model in sanitation.

"The FS to biodiesel pilot project could potentially address sustainable sanitation and introduce a new dimension into the sanitation value chain not only in Kumasi but globally, thus helping to 'kill two birds with one stone," states Anthony Mensah, Waste Management Director for the city of Kumasi. "The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly is therefore delighted to be part of this novel partnership."

The launching of this pilot phase is a major milestone in the pioneering project now entering its second year. Funded through a $1.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the project is led by Kartik Chandran, an associate professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering at Columbia University's school of engineering and applied science and Ashley Murray, Founder and CEO of Waste Enterprisers Ltd, a Ghanaian company that is working to reinvent the economics of sanitation in the developing world.

As part of this project, Chandran is developing an innovative technology to transform fecal sludge into biodiesel fuel and is working on converting a waste-processing facility into a biorefinery..

"This is a very exciting project for us," says Chandran. "We are aiming to create a next-generation urban sanitation facility that will set new standards and serve as a model around the w
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Contact: Holly Evarts
holly.evarts@columbia.edu
347-453-7408
Columbia University
Source:Eurekalert  

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