A Solar Steam Sterilizer for Treatment of Human Waste
Naomi Halas and colleagues at Rice University in the U.S. will design and test a prototype sterilizer that employs metallic nanoparticles to absorb solar energy for converting water to steam sufficient for sterilization of human waste. Steam is a highly effective method of sterilization, but intensive energy and infrastructure requirements have limited its small-scale use. In Phase I, they successfully built and tested a solar steam generator-driven autoclave prototype that can quickly transfer and sterilize sufficient volumes of unprocessed human waste. In Phase II, they will adapt the technology to enable the conversion of waste into briquettes suitable for use as cooking fuel, and further develop it for field tests in Kenya.