Conceptual Approach / Experiments

Experiment 2: Burning feces

''The feces are the most pathogenic part of human excreta. In our experiment we dry and burn the feces to make sure all pathogens are killed. We want to verify in practice our calculation showing that while burning, the caloric value of the dried feces is enough to dry the next incoming drum with collected feces. Important for all aspects of handling is that the system is "no-touch" (of feces or urine).

We expect that after the burning nothing but ash will be remain. The ashes can be used as fertilizer.

A container with cover (made from an oil drum), partly filled with feces and toilet paper (but little or no urine) is put in an well insulated brick oven. At the bottom of the oven burns a fire that heats the drum placed over it. After a period of time the feces in the drum is dried and can be emptied in the fire. The stove has to be efficient enough to ascertain that burning the feces generates enough heat to dry the equal amount of wet feces in the next incoming batch. No additional fuel should be required.
Exhaust gasses of the oven may be led through the liquid of the algae pond to add CO2 to it as well as to prevent stink. For this purpose the oven will need forced venting.
Possibly the ash from the burned feces/paper can be used as fertilizer.

This experiment is about phase #1 of the BathroomBox project. Succeeding phases of how an entrepreneur may develop this project has still to be indicated at this place In further phases we will consider retrieving the nutrients in feces by composting or digesting it. As a start the most important target is to make a slums as pathogen free as possible.


  • metal drum
  • an oven
  • wet feces

Working plan
First we collect an amount of feces by asking a group of people to defecate in a BathroomBox. The feces collected during a few days are put in a metal drum. This process should be completely No-Touch.

The metal drum with the feces is positioned above a fire in a well insulated forced-vented, brick oven. Every quarter we check the drying process. When we consider the feces dry enough the content of the drum is turned over into the fire.

Description of the oven
''The oven that we are going to use will be made of bricks. The oven has a length of 1,80 m, width of 1,00 m and a highth of 1,58 m. This seize oven is the same as what we are developping for the burning of feces of 1000 people in slums. The vessel with the feces is placed in the oven as showed on the picture.

Conceptual Approach / Experiments

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