gWith 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:

  • affordable
  • 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