Anaerobic digestion of undiluted simulant human excreta for sanitation and energy recovery in less-developed countries
© 2015 The Authors. Improving access to sanitation is one of the most effective means to improve public health. Anaerobic digestion of high-strength undiluted human simulant excreta was investigated in laboratory systems. The focus was on demonstrating the suitability of using simple unmixed anaerobic digesters for the treatment of a simulant high-strength undiluted human excreta and to quantify the effects of high ammonia concentration on the biogas yield. A maximum biogas yield of 0.44NLbiogasg-1COD was obtained in batch experiments, while yields of 0.38 and 0.24NLbiogasg-1COD were obtained at 5 and 8g total ammonia nitrogen (TAN) L-1, respectively. Using an inoculum acclimated to high ammonia concentrations was critical to successful biogas production at these high TAN concentrations. Stable long-term anaerobic digestion of simulant human excreta at ammonia concentrations ranging from 5.20 to 7.15g-NL-1 was obtained in a scaled-down mimic of a low cost floating dome anaerobic digester. Overall, the results demonstrate that anaerobic digestion of undiluted human simulant excreta in simple unmixed digesters is feasible and yields biogas, which is a valuable commodity. When combined with proper hygienization of its effluent, anaerobic digestion could contribute to effective sanitation in developing countries with limited water availability.
Colón, J; Forbis-Stokes, AA; Deshusses, MA
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