Published in: 2013
Research Triangle Institute
Location of library entry
This library entry contains background documents for a grant that Brent Rowe 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.
Short description of the project:
The RTI-led team — which includes individuals at Colorado State University and Duke University — is developing a fully integrated toilet system that combines electrochemical disinfection technology for liquid waste processing and recovery, with a revolutionary new biomass energy conversion unit to both process the solid waste and convert it into energy.
This project consists of three primary goals: 1) prove that human solid waste can be converted into a burnable fuel through drying/dewatering; 2) prove the use of thermoelectrics to convert thermal combustion energy into stored electrical charge; and 3) prove that liquid waste can be treated through electrochemical disinfection. Additional goals include minimizing cost – capital, labor, and O&M; minimizing energy use; and developing initial partnerships for implementation.
The core project objectives are: 1) develop a sewage separation and conversion unit that produces combustable fuel from human feces and other solid wastes; 2) develop a biomass combustion module that uses thermoelectrics to generate electrical energy from the combustion of fuel created from human waste; 3) Develop an electrochemical disinfection system that prepares liquid recoveres from mixed human waste for disposal or reuse in an environmentally responsible manner; 4) Integrate all operational systems and achieve system TRL6; and 5) achieve incentive target of TRL7. (TRL = Technology Readiness Level)
Research or implementation partners:
Duke University and Colorado State University are our key research partners. We are currently developing implementation partners based on a variety of discussions we have held with potential partners before, during, and after the design conference in Barcelona in April 2013 and a recent trip made by several RTI staff to Delhi, Ahmedabad, Trivandrum, and Mumbai in India in May 2013.
Documents available for download below:
1 - A waterless toilet with electrochemical disinfection and biomass combustion (Presentation at FSM2 Conference in Durban, South Africa, October 2012)
2 - Electrochemical disinfection of human urine for water-free and additive-free toilets using boron-doped diamond electrode (Abstract at 223rd ECS Meeting in Toronto, Canada, May 2013)
3 - RTI's Reinvented Toilet June 2014 User Studies: Gujarat State, India. Summary Report
4 - RTI Reinvent the Toilet September 2014 User Studies: Gujarat State, India. Summary Field
Rowe, B. (2013). Electrochemical disinfection with integrated biomass oven for solid waste processing and energy harvesting - Various documents on results from research grant. Research Triangle Institute
Asia & Pacific English Fundamental research and engineering North America
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