• Journal Article

Disinfection of E. Coli contaminated urine using boron-doped diamond electrodes


Raut, A. S., Cunningham, G., Parker, C. B., Klem, E., Stoner, B., Deshusses, M. A., & Glass, J. T. (2014). Disinfection of E. Coli contaminated urine using boron-doped diamond electrodes. Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 161(12), G81-G85. DOI: 10.1149/2.1121410jes


We report the development of an electrochemical disinfection system for human urine, which does not require the addition of any external water or chemical reagents. It is designed to minimize energy consumption so that it may be powered from point-of-use sources such as photovoltaic solar panels. The system will be part of a modular outdoor toilet for use in less developed countries. Initial tests were conducted with a physiological saline solution and an organic dye to determine minimum-energy operating conditions. Disinfection was then quantified using synthetic urine and E. coli as the indicator organism. The colony forming unit (CFU) count of E. Coli was reduced from >109 CFU/100 mL to <1000 CFU/100 mL, World Health Organization permissible limits after treatment [World Health Organization, Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater, excreta and greywater, (2006)]. The effects of suspended fecal matter on disinfection efficiency were also studied.