The toilet of tomorrow will do more than flush waste

15th of January 2016
The toilet of tomorrow will do more than flush waste

A toilet that functions as its own treatment plant could help to deliver sustainable sanitation to the 2.5 billion people worldwide who currently lack access.

The 'reinvented toilet' would harvest energy from human waste in order to produce sterile water for washing. It would also process solid waste and enable it to be used as an odourless fertiliser.

The reinvented toilet is the brainchild of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programme team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The team has spent a number of years working on developing a range of new sanitation technologies.

The concept is part of a broader 'Reinvent the Toilet Challenge' initiative that aims to deliver sustainable sanitation to nations around the world that are currently struggling with poor sanitation.

Also being trialled by the Gates Foundation in partnership with manufacturing company Janicki Bioenergy is the Omni Processor, a device that converts faeces into drinking water. Currently being piloted in Senegal, the Omni Processor incorporates a steam engine that makes its own energy that is then used for burning human waste.

Around two million tons of human waste is flushed away via water channels each day. This can reduce the availability of uncontaminated drinking water in developing nations which are claimed to often lack good treatment and drainage facilities.

The new lavatory solutions are designed to modernise some of today's inadequate sewage systems in developing countries that are said to pose a risk to public health.



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