Eawag - Uganda

Sludge to Energy Enterprises in Kampala (SEEK)

Contract: 2014.05

Sludge to Energy Enterprises in Kampala (SEEK)

Project Type :

Pilot Project


Technology :


Country :



Project Status :


Project Start :

September 2014


End of Project :

December 2016

Partners :

Eawag / Sandec,, Linda Strande, Moritz Gold

© Eawag
© Makerere University

Swiss Contribution

Sandec, the Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries at Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, develops concepts and technologies adapted to the various physical and socio-economic conditions of developing countries and is involved in capacity building in order to increase access to sustainable sanitation. The Bioburn Pelletizer developed by Bioburn GmbH will be used as part of the SEEK project.


In urban areas of low-income countries, sanitation needs are commonly met by onsite sanitation technologies such as pit latrines and septic tanks. Onsite sanitation can provide adequate and affordable sanitation if collection, transport, treatment and enduse of the waste (i.e. faecal sludge) accumulating in these technologies is provided. The Sandec-led FaME Project (Faecal Management Enterprises, demonstrated that in Sub-Saharan Africa the calorific value of faecal sludge is comparable to other currently used biofuels. Sandec and its research partners identified that revenues from faecal sludge as a fuel can be four times higher compared to its use as soil conditioner in agriculture. This revenue can be used to support and sustain sustainable sanitation.

Building on this knowledge, the SEEK project aims to increase this revenue potential by processing sludge together with other urban waste streams into fuel pellets and electricity through gasification. The Bioburn pelletizer and Power Pallet gasifier are proven technologies in Switzerland and the US. Sandec together with its research partners will apply these technologies to a developing country context in Kampala, Uganda. This will entail making required adaptions to ensure technical viability, and optimizing marketable commodities (i.e. fuel pellets, electricity, heat and char). By implementing a drying, pelletizing and gasification system at NWSC Lubigi Wastewater and Faecal Sludge treatment plant in Kampala, the SEEK project will provide reliable operating and financial parameters to allow informed decision-making.

Through participation with potential customers and stakeholders, the SEEK project will develop business models to ensure feedstock supply, financially sustainable operation and electricity allocation, creating a package that is attractive to investors for replication in Kampala and other urban areas of developing countries.


The Final Report “SEEK: Sludge to Energy Enterprises in Kampala” is available at Short film and publications