The Empower Sanitation Platform


  • Parnter Name
    Duke University Center for WaSH-AID
  • Partner Type
    Technology Partner
  • Contact Info
    Duke University Centre for WaSH-AID Dr. Brian E. Stoner (E:
  • Website
  • Descriptive Overview
    Community toilet with both liquid recycling and solids processing. The toilet is compatible with pedestal and squat plate styles. Onsite processing includes electrochemical disinfection and recycling of liquids, and drying and sterilization of solids with optional combustion. User amenities may include body wash and hand wash stations and menstrual pad dispenser and disposal options.
  • Use Case Details
    Household and Community: Designed for 10 to 50 users per day. The processing system can be adapted to service multiple seats in a community block. Supports both "wipe" and "wash" scenarios.
  • Dimensions (meters)
    L 1.5 m X W 2.0 m X H 1.25 m
  • Weight (kg)
  • Other Waste Accepted
    Optional menstrual pad disposal technology available (see S.H.E. under Enabling Components)
  • Regularly Scheduled Required Maintenance
    Ash or dried solids should be emptied weekly
  • Use Cases
    • Multi-stall Toilet
  • Interface Type
  • Frontend Description
    Compatible with both pedestal and squat plate interfaces. Housed in a ventilated super structure that can include urinals, body wash, or hand wash stations as well as full toilet facilities. Mesh belts are used for initial solids/liquids separation. Baffle tanks in the liquid processing stream allow for additional settling of solids.
  • Approximate Water Use (L/flush)
  • Flush Water Source
    Internal (Recycled)
  • Users per Day (Expected)
    Current system designed as a neighborhood solution to support 10-50 users/day.
  • Users per Day (Maximum)
  • Type of Waste Treated
    Combined Stream (solids and liquids)
  • Core Processing Technology
  • Processing Overview
    Hybrid processing includes activated carbon filtration with electrochemical disinfection. A post baffle filter is used for Helminth egg removal. The disinfected liquid is recycled for flush water.
  • Processing Capacity
    Scalable, with previous versions designed for 30 L/day.
  • Type of Waste Treated
    Solids Processing
  • Core Processing Technology
    Dry Combustion
  • Processing Overview
    After initial separation, solids are dried @ 90oC and stored for disposal. Optional combustion technology may increase solids processing capacity across multiple units.
  • Processing Capacity
    Scalable, with prior versions designed for 4 kg dry/day
  • Processing Parameters
    Combustion at approximately 280oC
  • Power Systems Overview
    Currently prototypes use grid power (deep-cycle batteries) or 500 W photovoltaic panels.
  • Energy Balance
    Requires >5 kWh/day. No excess energy recovered from the process, but some excess electricity may be available if solar panels are used.
  • Expected Design Lifetime (Years)
  • Currently in Active Development
  • Commercialization Status
    Seeking Licensees
  • Commercialization Activities
    Currently seeking commercialization partners for product development, manufacturing, and launch. Third generation (TRL 7) prototype in active testing in Coimbatore, India; Coimbatore testing focuses on women and girls. Both liquid recycling and menstrual pad processing products began testing in Q1 2019.
  • Intellectual Property Status
    Patent Pending
  • Intellectual Property Details
    Provisional patents pending for liquid and solid modules
  • Frequency of Emptying Outputs
    Ash / dried solids emptied weekly (by user)
  • Solid Emission Characteristics
    Sterilized solids may be collected for disposal or combusted onsite
  • Liquid Emission Characteristics
    10-30 L/day discharged after disinfection. Complete pathogen removal has been confirmed. Effluent meets ISO standards.
  • Technology Development Milestones
  • Advanced Prototype
    TRL: 7 (2019)
    1. Third generation (TRL 7) prototype in active testing in Coimbatore, India and Durban, South Africa; Coimbatore testing focuses on women and girls.  2. Both liquid recycling and menstrual pad processing products will be tested first in India in January 2019.
Patent Number Description Link
WO2018031280 Solid waste treatment system Link
WO2018026747 Liquid waste treatment system Link