Smouldering combustion is a new emergent technology, ideal for waste treatment with high moisture content, where incineration is not feasible.

Due to the high-energy efficiency of the process, smouldering combustion can be self-sustaining at waste moisture content up to 75-80%. This technology is ideal to treat contaminated and harmful materials as the high temperatures ensure pathogen destruction.

Our research team applied smouldering combustion for the treatment of human faeces within the prestigious project 'Reinventing the Toilet Challenge' sponsored by The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Current and future projects include the utilisation of the smouldering technology for nutrients and metal recovery

UQ Fire research projects on smouldering combustion include:

Jose Torero and Bill Gates
Jose Torero, Head of School, demonstrating to Bill Gates UQ's submission to the Reinventing the Toilet Challenge
Smouldering combustion reactor at UQ Fire Laboratory