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Bill Gates Backs Waterless Toilet That Generates Energy From Human Wastes

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Poor sanitation has long been linked to certain diseases such as cholera and diarrhea.

This results to lack of sanitation facilities such as the most basic one, toilets. In poor countries, these diseases are rampant, which is why scientists are doing their best to develop a solution that should help the situation.

The World Health Organization states that 2.4 billion people don’t have access to toilets. Despite the improvement of the percentage of access to sanitation facilities – 68 percent in 2015 versus 54 percent in 1990 – there are still people who defecate in open fields.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation first challenged scientists and inventors to develop an affordable and sustainable toilet five years ago. And that’s just what the scientists at Cranfield University did.

Enter Nanotech Membrane Toilet, a toilet system that doesn’t require water in order to flush out feces. This way, it can be installed in poor areas and might be the solution to slowly end open defecation.
The Gates Foundation funded the design in September 2012 for $710,000.

The toilet’s design is meant to be used in areas that don’t have access to running water since it’s waterless and convenient to use. If the toilet will get the necessary funds for field testing, it should be one of the solutions to sanitation problems.

Alison Parker, a lecturer in the International Water and Sanitation at Cranfield Water Science Institute, said that the team’s toilet design should cater to the poor urban areas, since it will be easy to accommodate them.

“It will be very hard to carry out the scheduled maintenance in remote areas,” Parker tells Tech Insider. The toilet would need maintenance, at least every six months, according to her.

“Instead, the toilet will be used in dense urban areas where a number of factors make providing good sanitation very challenging, but where it would be possible to facilitate visits from a maintenance technician.”

So how does the Nanotech Membrane Toilet work? The mechanism can be complicated but the video below should explain it.

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H/T: Business Insider

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