Researchers at Cranfield University in the UK have created a prototype of a toilet that works without being connected to water or sewage systems, and that can generate electricity and clean water as it composts waste. [...]
The Nano Membrane Toilet, which has been developed with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, would be a kind of ‘super-toilet’, helping to improve sanitation for people without access to utilities – at present some 2.5 billion people around the world. — globalconstructionreview.com
This is how the Nano Membrane Toilet works: "The toilet flush uses a unique rotating mechanism to transport the mixture into the toilet without demanding water whilst simultaneously blocking odour and the user’s view of the waste. Solids separation (faeces) is principally accomplished through sedimentation. Loosely bound water (mostly from urine) is separated using low glass transition temperature hollow-fibre membranes. The unique nanostructured membrane wall facilitates water transport in the vapour state rather than as a liquid state which yields high rejection of pathogens and some odorous volatile compounds. A novel nano-coated bead enables water vapour recovery through encouraging the formation of water droplets at the nanobead surface. Once the droplets form a critical size, the water drains into a collection vessel for reuse at the household level in washing or irrigation applications. Following release of unbound water, the residual solids (around 20-25% solids) are transported by mechanical screw into a gasifier which will convert them into ash and energy. The energy will power the membrane processes, and there may be extra energy for charging mobile phones or other low voltage items."
To learn more about the Nano Membrane Toilet project, head over to nanomembranetoilet.org.
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