Scaling up self-sustained smouldering of sewage sludge for waste-to-energy

Rashwan, Tarek L.; Fournie, Taryn; Torero, José L.; Grant, Gavin P. and Gerhard, Jason I. (2021). Scaling up self-sustained smouldering of sewage sludge for waste-to-energy. Waste Management, 135 pp. 298–308.



Self-sustained smouldering combustion presents strong potential as a green waste-to-energy technique for a range of wastes, especially those with high moisture content like wastewater sewage sludge. While well-demonstrated in laboratory experiments, there is little known about scaling up this process to larger, commercial reactors. This paper addresses this knowledge gap by systematically conducting and analyzing experiments in a variety of reactors extending beyond the laboratory scale. This work reveals a robust treatment regime; however, it also identifies potential complications associated with perimeter heat losses at scale. Two key impacts, on the smouldering reactions and the air flow patterns, are shown to potentially degrade treatment if not properly understood and managed. Altogether, this study provides novel insight and guidance for scaling up smouldering science into practical, waste-to-energy systems.

Viewing alternatives

Download history


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions