With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge," researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder led by Dr. Karl Linden have developed an innovative household-scale toilet prototype that is:
- operates off grid with no piped water or sewage
- treats human waste on-site
- creates useful products out of human waste
The Sol-Char Toilet utilizes concentrated solar power (CSP) to convert human waste into char, an odorless product that can be used as fuel or soil-amendment.
The Sol-Char Sanitation team is currently exploring a Phase II design for a field pilot that improves and advances the Phase I laboratory prototype:
- Off-the-shelf automotive fiber optic technology reduces cost/power by a factor of 10.
- High-density energy utilization services up to 100 people/day in single, standard (8’x8’x20’) "Shipping Container” design.
- Continuous waste processing system
- Electrical ‘co-generation’ provides up to 15 kW-hrs of electricity with battery backup for offline (cloudy) operation.
- Durable ~20-30 year lifetime.
- Protected collectors and rooftop mounting adds security and decreases failure modes