Published in: 2014
Stanford University and The Climate Foundation, Stanford, California, USA
Herzen, B., Talsma, L.
This library entry contains background documents for a grant that Brian Von Herzen is leading and which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Further information and a discussion is available on the SuSanA discussion Forum, see link below.
The goal of this project is to design, build, and test a self-contained system that can pyrolyze (decompose organic material at high temperatures without oxygen) human solid waste into a type of biological charcoal (biochar) that captures and stores carbon. The design target of phase 1 was to deliver a proof of concept of the technology, towards the ultimate goal of processing two tons of human waste daily at a facility located in the slums of Nairobi.
Short description of the project:
In the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge (RTTC), researchers from all over the world are challenged to come up with a radical new technology for treating human waste, and eventually making it accessible for the whole world. Just treatment is not enough though; the solution has to be affordable, and has to produce valuable elements from the waste - either energy, clean water, nutrients, or all. Phase 1 of the RTTC was aimed at proving the feasibility of the technology; in August 2012, a working prototype of the biochar reactor was demonstrated at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair at the headquarters of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Together with Sanergy in Nairobi, the technology will be developed further to make it ready to process human waste on a large scale in Kenya.
Documents available for download below:
1 - Development of a solid waste to biochar reactor (paper at FSM2 Conference in Durban, South Africa, Oct. 2012)
2 - Biochar for carbon sustainability and waste management (presentation at FSM2 Conference in Durban, South Africa, Oct. 2012)
3 - Short presentation at SEI webinar 7 (29 April 2014)
Herzen, B., Talsma, L. (2014). Conversion of human waste into biochar using pyrolysis at a community-scale facility in Kenya - Various documents on results from research grant. Stanford University and The Climate Foundation, Stanford, California, USA
English Fundamental research and engineering North America Sub-Saharan Africa
Share this page on