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Title: Characterization of solid fuel chars recovered from microwave hydrothermal carbonization of human biowaste
Authors: Afolabi, Oluwasola O.D.
Sohail (Khan), M.
Thomas, C.L. Paul
Keywords: Faecal biomass
Hydrothermal carbonization
Renewable energy
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: © Elsevier
Citation: AFOLABI, O.O.D., SOHAIL (KHAN), M. and THOMAS, C.L.P., 2017. Characterization of solid fuel chars recovered from microwave hydrothermal carbonization of human biowaste. Energy, 134, pp. 74–89.
Abstract: Microwave hydrothermal carbonization (M-HTC) is reported in this study as a viable sanitation technology that can reliably overcome the heterogeneous nature of human faecal biowaste (HBW) and realize its intrinsic energy value. Solid chars produced from the M-HTC process at 180°C and 200°C were characterized to further the understanding of the conversion pathways and their physicochemical, structural and energetic properties. The study revealed solid chars recovered were predominantly via a solid-solid conversion pathway. In terms of yield, more than 50% of solid chars (dry basis) can be recovered using 180°C as a benchmark. Additionally, the carbonized solid chars demonstrated enhanced carbon and energy properties following the M-HTC process: when compared to unprocessed HBW, the carbon content in the solid chars increased by up to 52%, while the carbon densification factor was greater than 1 in all recovered chars. The calorific values of the chars increased by up to 41.5%, yielding heating values that averaged 25MJ.kg-1. Thermogravimetric studies further revealed the solid fuel chars exhibited greater reactivity when compared with unprocessed HBW, due to improved porosity. This work strengthens the potential of the M-HTC sanitation technology for mitigating poor sanitation impacts while also recovering energy, which can complement domestic energy demands.
Description: This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Energy and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2017.06.010
Sponsor: The authors wish to thank the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its funding to Loughborough University, UK, on the ‘Reinvent the Toilet Challenge’ project.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1016/j.energy.2017.06.010
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/25367
Publisher Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2017.06.010
ISSN: 0360-5442
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (WEDC)

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