Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Postgraduate







Skempton BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

2 results found

Koulouri ME, Templeton MR, Fowler GD, 2023, Source separation of human excreta: effect on resource recovery via pyrolysis, Journal of Environmental Management, Vol: 338, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 0301-4797

More people globally are now using on-site sanitation technologies than sewered connections. The management of faecal sludge generated by on-site facilities is still challenging and requires an understanding of all sanitation service chain components and their interactions; from source conditions to treatment and resource recovery. This study aimed to improve the current lack of knowledge regarding these interactions, by establishing a quantifiable relationship between human excreta source separation and resource recovery via pyrolysis. The effects of source separation of faeces and urine on biochar quality were investigated for different pyrolysis temperatures (450 °C, 550 °C, 650 °C) and this information was used to assess energy and nutrient recovery. Results quantify the benefits of urine diversion for nitrogen recovery (70% of total N losses during thermal treatment avoided) and show an increase in the liming potential of the produced faecal-based biochars. The quality of produced solid fuels is also improved when source-separated faeces (SSF) are used as a feedstock for pyrolysis, including a 50% increase in char calorific value. On the other hand, biochars from mixed urine and faeces (MUF) are more rich in phosphorus and potassium, and surface morphology investigation indicates higher porosity compared to SSF biochars. The high salinity of MUF biochars should be considered before agricultural applications. For both biochar types (SSF, MUF), the presence of phosphate compounds of high fertiliser value was confirmed by X-ray diffraction analysis, and temperatures around 500 °C are recommended to optimise nutrient and carbon behaviour when pyrolysing human excreta. These findings can be used for the design of circular faecal sludge management systems, linking resource recovery objectives to source conditions, and vice-versa. Ultimately, achieving consistent resource recovery from human excreta can act as an incentive for universal access to safe

Journal article

Zisopoulou K, Karalis S, Koulouri M-E, Pouliasis G, Korres E, Karousis A, Triantafilopoulou E, Panagoulia Det al., 2018, Recasting of the WEF Nexus as an actor with a new economic platform and management model, ENERGY POLICY, Vol: 119, Pages: 123-139, ISSN: 0301-4215

Journal article

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