Date of Award

Spring 12-5-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Karl G. Linden

Second Advisor

JoAnn Silverstein

Third Advisor

Lupita Montoya


In response to the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, the University of Colorado, Boulder developed the Sol-Char toilet. It pyrolyzes human feces, rendering it safe and transforming it into a usable char. The release of large amounts of volatile sulfur compounds and odor represents a challenge associated with toilet operation. In tests, the pyrolysis of 160-900 grams of feces released hydrogen sulfide peaks between 25 and 90 ppm and had an odor detection threshold of 510,000 OU/ft3. Feces-derived chars for the treatment of hydrogen sulfide were explored using static breakthrough experiments, with 900°C char having the highest breakthrough capacity. Preliminary tests using a pilot scale soil biofilter indicate it represents a potential treatment for odor f fecal pyrolysis exhaust.