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Energy and Environmental Flows in Sanitation

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Billions of people around the world use toilets that are not connected to sewers. This poses immense environmental and health challenges but also creates opportunities for innovation. Professor Michael Templeton, the Oxfam and Water For People / Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair in Global Sanitation Technology at Imperial College London, will explain the widespread dilemma of faecal sludge management in the developing world and some of the technical solutions that may be able to provide safe and sustainable outcomes at every step of the management chain. He will present a series of case studies from his research and pose questions such as: ‘What are the fluid dynamics (including emissions) and energetic processes within basic pit latrines and septic tanks, and how can an improved understanding of these processes lead to better ways of designing and managing affordable latrines for the world’s poorest people?’ and ‘What are the optimal ways to process faecal sludge that is emptied from latrines, to maximise energy and resource recovery and produce useful products for local communities?’ He will demonstrate that while governance, behavioural, and economic factors are contributors to this challenge, science and engineering also have critical roles to play to achieve ‘sanitation for all’ (UN Sustainable Development Goal 6).

This talk is part of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Flows (IEEF) series.

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