Mobile waste to liquid fuels conversion plants

2011 - 2012 • AI3D (Alianza para la innovación en integridad de infraestructura y ductos A.C), Mexico


The goal of this project is to design and construct a small-scale waste treatment plant for faecal sludge and municipal solid waste mixtures based on plasma gasification


Waste to energy conversion is a promising route for reducing the fossil fuel dependency of the world. Fermentation, chemical processing, pyrolysis and gasification have been the main processes used for transforming biomass and other “burnable” wastes into useful fuels like ethanol, methanol, biogas, bio-diesel, bio-oil, bio-hydrogen etc. Most works on the subject are focused on power generation or on the production of alternative fuels, while few consider the option of producing gasoline or diesel. Here we propose a processing plant that produces gasoline, diesel and electricity using faecal sludge and solid waste as feedstock. The proposed plant will use a gasifier to produce a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide known as syngas and a Fischer-Tropsch reactor that will produce synthetic hydrocarbons that can be refined in order to obtain liquid fuels. Both gasification and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis are performed normally at large scales. Aiming at a small scale mobile processing plant that can transform waste at the source, the main challenge of the project is to prove the technical and economic viability of the proposed plant.

Countries of activity

Location of main activity


- Harness the energy contained in faecal sludge
- Storing it in the form of a high value fuel
- Turn faecal sludge into something valuable
- Make pit emptying more profitable and safe

Further information

Research or implementation partners: Corrosion y Protección Ingeniería, Institute of Physical Sciences, UNAM.

Filter tags

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Energy: electricity, hydrogen, fuel cells Energy: fuel (liquid or solid) Fundamental research and engineering Global Latin America & Caribbean Local NGO Mexico Other Product design and engineering Resource recovery


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