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Nanotech Membrane Toilet – Electricity From Human Waste

The Nanotech Membrane Toilets are environment friendly and clean as well. They can produce enough power to charge a mobile phone. The only residue left in the whole process is ash which is nutrient rich and can be used as a fertilizer.

credits: Cranfield University

Nanotech Membrane Toilet: New Water-less Toilet Can Produce Power From Human Waste

Almost 2.3 billion people in the world do not have access to sanitized toilets. So the scientists in United Kingdom (UK) have designed a new water-less, energy producing toilet. Which is not only cheap but will be in range of a common man.

The Nanotech Membrane Toilet is environment friendly and very easy to maintain. The toilet is designed in such a way that it not only produces electricity for small devices, but also purifies the water.

It has the backing from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It was in the making for three years now. These toilets will be tested in Africa. If the initial trials live up to the mark, it will change everything. These toilets can be used everywhere. From military vehicles to luxurious yachts. From a seven star hotel to an under-developed village of some country.

This toilet been scheduled for trials in Ghana later this year.

 

HOW NANOTECH MEMBRANE TOILET WORK

 

Watch the following video to learn how it works. It was made by Cranfield Water Science Institute for Reinvent the toilet fair in 2014.

 

The magic begins when you close the toilet lid. The waste is swept into a sedimentation chamber by a rotation mechanism at the bottom of the bowl. It helps to prevent any bad odors from escaping. The waste is then passed through a special nanotech membrane. Here, the vaporized water molecules are separated from rest of the waste. It removes any pathogens and solids from being carried forward by the water.

The vaporized water then passes through a chamber which is filled with nano-coated hydrophilic beads. This condenses the water and helps to collect it in a collection area below. This water is pure and can be used for household chores and irrigating the fields.

nanomembrane toilet

An Archimedean Screw System then removes the leftovers and scrape them off to a second chamber. Where they are incinerated and converted into ash and heat. This part has not been finalized yet. Scientists are still working on the details. Though the current plan is to convert the waste into ash and energy. The energy will power the Nano-membrane filtration process. The left over energy can be used to charge some small devices such as mobile phones and trimmers.

The only residual waste in the whole process is ash which can be used as a fertilizer. As it is pathogen free and nutrient rich. The special rotating mechanism replaces flush. A single toilet can manage the waste generated by 10 people.

nanotech membrane toilet

Thinking of the distribution system, the makers are planning to introduce a rental system. So that a normal person can afford them and it will also bring down the prices for some users. The makers want to make sure they stay within the Gate Foundation’s challenge keeping the cost below 5 cents per person per day.

Nanotech Membrane Toilet is a cheap easy to maintain and green toilet which uses no water and has the ability to turn human waste into electricity. It will be trialed in Ghana – possibly, later this year. This new way of managing waste can help 2.3 billion people across the globe, who even don’t have access to basic sanitation facilities.

This project is partly funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Reinvent the Toilet Challenge. The Nanotech Membrane Toilet also won CleanEquity Monaco 2015. It was announced as the finalist at Cleantech Innovate Showcase.

Elise Cartmell – one of the team member – said that they are delighted to see this innovation gaining national recognition through this platform. She said that their product has the potential to change lives of millions of people – by providing them with safe and sanitized toilets.

Almost 650 million people do not have access to clean drinking water. And more than 2.3 billion don’t have a safe and sanitized toilet. Researchers and scientist around the world are working hard to find solution to basic health related problems. Usually high-tech solutions like adding solar panels are too expensive. Which makes them out of the reach of a common man.

The Nanotech Membrane Toilet is odorless and clean. It’s environmental friendly too. It has the potential to work in places which are under-developed and do not have a proper sewage system.

Source: Cranfield University

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