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

orld. With the capacity to receive and treat 10,000 liters, or 2500 gallonsa full sanitation truck carrying concentrated fecal matter from at least 5,000 peopleof fecal sludge per day, this facility reaches way beyond the lab scale."

In the pilot phase, expected to last 12 months, the researchers will be testing Chandran's bioprocess technology for converting the organic compounds present in fecal sludge to biodiesel and methane, two potent sources of renewable energy.

"Our goal is to develop a revenue-generating fecal-sludge-to-biodiesel facility that can transform sanitation from an expensive burden into a profitable venture. If we figure out a way to make waste management profitable, governments and citizens that currently bear the financial, environmental, and public health costs will all be better off," notes Murray.

Chandran and Murray are working closely with researchers at KNUST along with a team of process engineers to improve the biodiesel yield from fecal sludge and explore the commercial viability of a business model based on creating biodiesel from human waste.

"This project is about more than a technology breakthrough, it's about creating economically sustainable approaches to waste management that can eliminate the sanitation crisis in developing cities," says Murray.

"We are very grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for their recognition of the critical importance of sustainable sanitation across the globe, especially in developing countries," adds Chandran. "We hope our model can be replicated and adapted around the world."


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Contact: Holly Evarts
holly.evarts@columbia.edu
347-453-7408
Columbia University
Source:Eurekalert  

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