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Primary SS, the closest alternative to fresh human faeces, is used for this study as representative of an HBW sample. This was obtained from the primary sedimentation holding tank at Wanlip sewage treatment works, Leicester, UK. The SS derives from a catchment area serving a population of 0.5 million people, with mixed domestic and industrial effluent. The SS was obtained in a container that was vented to prevent gas build-up. Once sealed, the SS was transported for storage in the cold room of the Civil Engineering Water Laboratory throughout the experimental period. The characteristics of the SS used for this study are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1

Characteristic of SS used in this study

ParametersPrimary SS
Elemental (%) 
 Carbon, C 36.6 ± 0.4 
 Hydrogen, H 5.7 ± 0.04 
 Nitrogen, N 5.1 ± 0.03 
 Oxygen, Oa 52.6 ± 0.5 
Proximate (%) 
 Moisture content, MC (%) 95.6 ± 0.2 
 TS (%) 4.4 ± 0.1 
 VS (of TS) 71.4 ± 0.2 
 FS (of TS) 28.6 ± 0.2 
pH 5.5 ± 0.3 
Energy content (MJ/Kg) 15.8 ± 0.2 
Densityb (g/cm31.1 
CST (seconds) 389.9 ± 28.9 
ParametersPrimary SS
Elemental (%) 
 Carbon, C 36.6 ± 0.4 
 Hydrogen, H 5.7 ± 0.04 
 Nitrogen, N 5.1 ± 0.03 
 Oxygen, Oa 52.6 ± 0.5 
Proximate (%) 
 Moisture content, MC (%) 95.6 ± 0.2 
 TS (%) 4.4 ± 0.1 
 VS (of TS) 71.4 ± 0.2 
 FS (of TS) 28.6 ± 0.2 
pH 5.5 ± 0.3 
Energy content (MJ/Kg) 15.8 ± 0.2 
Densityb (g/cm31.1 
CST (seconds) 389.9 ± 28.9 

aDetermined by difference, i.e. [100 – {C + H + N}]%.

bProvided by the waste treatment plant.

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