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Development of a solid human waste semigasifier burner for use in developing countries




Loveldi, Nathan, author
Marchese, Anthony J., advisor
DeFoort, Morgan, advisor
Sharvelle, Sybil, committee member
Mizia, John, committee member

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Recent estimates suggest that approximately 40% of the world's population does not have access to an adequate sanitation system. This lack of access is one of the major causes of child mortality, mainly due to diarrhea. In an attempt to increase access to sanitation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation proposed a program called the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge. The challenge is to develop sustainable toilets that can be used in areas without an electrical grid or sanitary plumbing. These criteria allow the toilet to be placed in rural areas without access to an electrical grid and in environments where water is scarce. This thesis describes the design and development of a solid human waste semi-gasifier burner for use in developing countries that was developed in response to the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge. The incineration process was chosen because the high operating temperature ensures the elimination of pathogens. The device was developed by understanding the fundamentals of fecal material combustion. Several design iterations were constructed to systematically optimize the critical variables. Those variables include char production, air flow rate requirement, ignition sequence, and power source requirement. The result is a prototype powered by a single 12 Volt battery that can incinerate solid waste. A thermoelectric generator is used to harvest the heat from combustion and convert the heat back into electricity. The exhaust gas from the combustion is used for drying of fecal material. Both the thermoelectric generator and exhaust gas usage provide a sustainable energy source for the toilet.


2014 Summer.
Includes bibliographical references.

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solid waste


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