Updated on September 26, 2023


Created on September 15, 2017

Water pasteurizer

A biomass-fueled water pasteurizer that is designed for institutions such as schools, dormitories, or refugee camps.

Developed By Unknown
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Product Description

Originally designed by Institutional Energy Solutions (IES) (previously InStove) the water pasteurizer is a gravity-fed unit that kills microorganisms by heating water to the pasteurization temperature of 71 ºC and cooling it back down to safe drinking temperature. The system is housed in a 60 L pot and is designed to work with 60 L and 100 L cookstoves, but could potentially be used with other heat sources. The flow rate depends on the water inlet pressure, ranging from 3-8 L/min. Interview with designer

This technology is currently not available on the market.

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

Manufacturing/Building Method

The product is in the prototype phase and is not yet manufactured.

Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model


Distributions to Date Status

The product is in the prototype phase and is not yet distributed.

Deactivation mechanism


Energy source


Manufacturer-specified water treatment rate (L/hr)

180 – 480 L/hr (3- 8 L/min)

Bacteria reduction

6 log

Virus reduction

6 log

Protozoa reduction


Heavy metals and/or arsenic reduction


Maximum recommended influent turbidity level (NTU)


Effluent turbidity levels (NTU)


Safe water storage capacity (L)

20 L

Design Specifications

The water pasteurizer comprises of heating coils, a heat exchanger, and regulating thermostatic valve - all housed in a 60 L pot, and is designed to work with 60 L and 100 L cookstoves but could potentially be used with other biomass heat sources. Water is gravity fed from an elevated tank (3-4.5 m) and enters into the hot-side of the heat exchanger, then it passes through a coil where it increases in temperature. Next, a thermostatic valve regulates the system by only opening if the temperature of the water is above 71 °C. Water then flows through additional piping before re-entering the heat exchanger and cooling down to room temperature as it exits the system.

Technical Support

Contact the designer

Replacement Components

Some components can be available in local hardware stores, otherwise, contact the manufacturer.


Estimated 10 yearsInterview with designer

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

The product meets WHO requirements for drinking water while using up to 97% less wood per liter compared to boiling over an open fire.Interview with designer

Vetted Performance Status

Laboratory testing was conducted by Oregon State University and found a 99.9999% reduction in E. coli through the pasteurization unit in all samples and an average clean water production rate of 6.7 L per minute. The steady-state production of clean water required an average of 5.5 g of dry wood equivalent per liter of water pasteurized or 106 kJ of energy per liter. When accounting for system startup, it required 9.1 g of dry wood equivalent per liter of pasteurized water produced or 175 kJ of energy per liter.


Handling firewood and feeding the stove presents a reduced burn hazard compared to a typical open cooking fire. The pasteurization unit is designed to cool the water down using a heat exchanger so that the water at the outlet does not exceed 20 °C and does not present a burn hazard.

Complementary Technical Systems

The designer specifies that off-the-shelf or purpose-built filters can be connected in-line with the pasteurizer to remove non-microbial contaminants present in a particular water source such as sediments, metals, or synthetic organic compounds.

Academic Research and References

Burleson G, Caplan D, Mays C, et al., 2020, Computational Modeling and Empirical Analysis of a Biomass-Powered Drinking Water Pasteurization Technology, MDPI.

Burleson, G., Tilt, B., Sharp, K. and MacCarty, N., 2019. Reinventing boiling: A rapid ethnographic and engineering evaluation of a high-efficiency thermal water treatment technology in UgandaEnergy Research & Social Science, 52, pp.68-77.

Burleson, G., MacCarty, N., Sharp, K. and Tilt, B., 2018, August. An Interdisciplinary Mixed-Method Approach to the Evaluation of a Novel Water Treatment Technology in Eastern Uganda. ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference.

MacCarty N, Burleson G, Moses N, et al., 2017, Design and Testing of a High-Efficiency Rapid Throughput Community-Scale Water Pasteurization SystemASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference.

Compliance with regulations

Meets WHO requirements for drinking water and US-EPA regulations for coliform and virus reduction.Interview with designer

Other Information

Received the Impact Invention Award from the Lemelson Foundation in 2017.

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