HUMAN EXCREMENT: A REAL SOURCE OF ENERGY AND A FIGHT AGAINST DEFORESTATION.
Communities in Kenya and East Africa are facing a health crisis.
The negative health and environmental impact of poor sanitation cost the world $260 billion a year.
Most people lack sanitary facilities. Did you know that 95% of human waste is not treated in Kenya before being dumped into the environment? This situation has led to environmental and health problems caused by untreated excrement.
Burn for a long time with less smoke, SANIVATION brings us the solution
SANIVATION is a Kenyan company created in 2011, which objective was to find a solution to the sanitary problems faced by millions of inhabitants of sub-Saharan Africa, by providing hygienic toilets to everyone. Human organic waste is then transformed into combustible briquettes.
The transformation of human waste into treasure
At first, there was not much reception to the idea, but after many studies and tests, the team found that the briquettes burned much faster than any other type of biomass on the market and gave off much less smoke and therefore a much lower amount of CO2. In concrete terms, in the Kakuma refugee camp, the team tested the performance of such a project for 3 months by installing 32 toilets in an area housing 300 people.
And there you have it, an astonishing result: a yield of two tons of briquettes could be made from the collected waste.
The project of the future
To rent functional toilets, a monthly subscription is needed . The service includes two stool collections per week by specialized agents. People now also have access to a helpline.
The GVEP group, Global Village Energy Partnership, supports Sanivation’s fundraising and accompanies them in improving their business model.
The five essential steps in the process
- Drying the collected waste is essential for two to three weeks.
- A heat treatment of human feces using solar dishes that reflect energy to one place so that it is hot enough to kill all bacteria and burn off harmful gases.
- Elimination of pathogens to convert into a material that dries solid to increase the amount of carbon.
- Mix it with sawdust and molasses to bind it.
- Drying again.
And the result…
For every ton of charcoal produced, 88 trees are saved in Kinia.
This bio charcoal will finally be ready for our daily use, eco-responsible, emitting no unpleasant odors, and less expensive.
Achievements in the EU
The European Union imports nearly 170 million tonnes of coal for electricity production and industrial needs. Every year, tens of millions of tonnes of organic waste are buried in the EU. To meet the EU’s objective of carbon neutrality by 2050, in 2011 a group of researchers from the Western Ruhr University (HRW), renowned for its coal mining, developed a method allowing to create bio-charcoal with a patented process called “vapo-thermal carbonization” (VPC) to valorize these neglected substances. In addition to its recovery as fuel, this bio-charcoal can be used as a fertilizer for agriculture as an accelerator of biological activity: it enriches the soil with carbon.
The sustainable technology company INGELIA, founded in Spain, also developed back in 2007, a process that makes it possible to recover up to 95% of the carbon from organic waste. This is the HTC method, Hydrothermal Carbonization Industrial Plants. Hydrochar can be used as a raw material for the industry as a substitute for fossil fuels and as a biofuel with a high GCV (gross calorific value), low humidity, high combustion performance, and no CO2 emissions. The great advantage of HTC is that the process takes place in an aquatic environment, so the humidity of the biomass is not a problem. The process makes it possible, on the one hand, to concentrate the energy content of the biomass in a solid biofuel, and on the other hand, to generate residual water which could be used as fertilizer in agricultural plantations
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MAGAZINE ET PORTAIL FRANCOPHONE DES BIOÉNERGIES. 2022. Transformer les déchets organiques humains en énergie au Kenya. [online] Available at: <https://www.bioenergie-promotion.fr/42311/transformer-les-dechets-organiques-humains-en-energie-au-kenya/> [Accessed 23 July 2022].
Sciencepost. 2022. Au Kenya, on transforme les excréments humains en combustible !. [online] Available at: <https://sciencepost.fr/kenya-dejections-humaines-transformees-boules-de-charbon/> [Accessed 23 July 2022].
Innoenergy.com. 2022. Hydrothermal Carbonization Industrial Plants. [online] Available at: <https://www.innoenergy.com/discover-innovative-solutions/sustainable-products-and-services/hydrothermal-carbonization-industrial-plants/> [Accessed 23 July 2022].
Ingelia.com. 2022. The Ingelia patented HTC plant – (Castellano) Ingelia Technologies. [online] Available at: <https://ingelia.com/index.php/modelo-negocio/carbonizacion-de-biomasa/?lang=en> [Accessed 23 July 2022].