The drying (or dewatering) of fresh feces and fecal sludge is a productive step in the management of sanitation, waste treatment, and resource recovery services. An improved understanding of fresh feces and fecal sludge drying would contribute to the development and deployment of fecal sludge management services. However, there is a lack of available literature on the fundamental drying characteristics of fresh feces. In response to this gap, this work shares experimental results for equilibrium moisture content of fresh feces at different water activity levels (aw
) and proposes the use of the Guggenheim, Anderson, and de Boer (GAB) model for predicting aw
, calculating the heat of sorption, and estimating the corresponding energy requirements for drying of fresh feces. This is the first time this work has been done with fresh feces. The total heat of evaporation was significant up to a moisture content of about 0.2 kg water per kg dry solids. In addition to informing drying process design, the sorption isotherm can be used to predict microbial activity, which could improve the management of feces and fecal sludge from a public health perspective. These data in turn will be used to promote access to dignified, safe, and sustainable sanitation.
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