Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Blackburn, James


The current research relates to a system driven by renewable energy and chemical energy contained in the feed, which will eliminate and reduce pathogens found in human excreta. A project in the form of an experiment for demonstration will be designed and built to operate in the local waste water treatment plant. Data will be analyzed and recorded, including fecal coliforms and E.coli levels, chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total solids removal (TS). The effectiveness of the system will depend upon results obtained and weather conditions. The principal objective of the research is to test and demonstrate that the "Small Decentralized ATAD" is successful in removing/eliminating enteric pathogens found in human excreta. Most importantly, the Bill and Melinda Gates Charity Foundation is providing financial support (Grants) for new sanitation ideas to help developing countries overcome diseases, specifically water borne diseases and also diseases related to hygiene and sanitation. Moreover, the "Water, Sanitation & Hygiene: Grand Challenges Explorations" granted a $100,000 Grant to Professor James Blackburn from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in the Mechanical Engineering and Energy Processes Department. Consequently, the "Decentralized Next Generation for Diarrheal Pathogens" project will be tested using the ATAD (Autothermal Thermophilic Aerobic Digestion) to demonstrate its effectiveness in pathogen reduction and elimination.




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