Updated on December 28, 2023


Created on June 10, 2016

Pivot Fuel

Upcoming Update

Pivot Works Ltd. converts human fecal sludge into solid fuel for powering local industries (cement and brick plants) in Kigali, Rwanda.

Developed By
  1. Pivot Works Ltd.
Content Partners


Product Description

Pivot fuel is a human waste derived granular solid biomass fuel intended for industrial applications. Pivot Works Ltd. is a start-up waste-to-energy company that converts human waste streams in large municipalities to a solid fuel through mechanical processes providing both an energy source and sanitation solution.

Pivot Works is located in Kigali, Rwanda.


Target SDGs

SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

Pivot Plant is the only distributor.

Manufacturing/Building Method

The fuel is created using three major processes: use of a belt filter, mechanical dewatering machine followed by greenhouses for solar drying, and a thermal dryer for sanitizing and homogenizing the form factor of the finished product. Human waste is brought to the processing site by vacuum trucks and stored in large holding tanks.

Intellectural Property Type

Trade Secret

User Provision Model

Users can obtain the product from the manufacturer.

Distributions to Date Status

50 tons as of June 2016 interview with representative

Material composition

Human waste

Higher heating value (MJ/kg)

18 MJ/kg

Types of primary pollutants


Design Specifications

A municipality of roughly 1 million persons is required to achieve workable economies of scale. Climate, alternative fuels access and market price, regulatory structure, and government interest are all components needed for success. The fuel produced is a granular solid biomass fuel.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

Provided by the manufacturer.

Replacement Components

Single use product


No expiration date in optimal conditions. In very humid climates or situations where the fuel is exposed to and accumulates moisture, there is a potential for fuel ignition.

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

- Calorific value of 16 - 22 MJ/kg - Density of 400 - 500 kg/m3

Vetted Performance Status

Local and international labs performed tests for energy content, volatile solids content, ash content, pathogens and metals. These results can be made available to anyone interested in purchasing Pivot Works fuel.


Keep fuel in a dry and cool environment to prevent spontaneous combustion. Proper silos for storage should be installed to ensure safe conditions.

Complementary Technical Systems

Human waste collection and transportation systems and furnace systems for fuel combustion.

Academic Research and References

Diener, S., Semiyaga, S., Niwagaba, C. B., Muspratt, A. M., Gning, J. B., Mbéguéré, M., … Strande, L. (2014). A value proposition: Resource recovery from faecal sludge—Can it be the driver for improved sanitation? Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 88, 32–38.

Muspratt, A. M., Nakato, T., Niwagaba, C., Dione, H., Kang, J., Stupin, L., … Strande, L. (2014). Fuel potential of faecal sludge: calorific value results from Uganda, Ghana and Senegal. Journal of Water Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, 4(2), 223–230.

Wald, Chelsea , and Nature Magazine. 2017. The New Economy of Excrement. Scientific American, September 13, 2017.



Compliance with regulations


Evaluation methods

Energy content, volatile solids content, ash content, pathogen and metals content, and burn duration and temperature.

Other Information

Learn more about Pivot Works here.

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