The focus of scientists and research teams is shifting towards climate change and global warming. Thus it comes as no surprise when we see gadgets and technologies being employed and invented that are environment friendly and help to minimize the damage that has already been dealt to nature by mankind. The Nano Membrane Toilet is a green gadget that is easy to maintain and cheap when it comes to manufacturing. What’s so geeky about it? It doesn’t make use of water and can transform human waste into clean water and electricity.
This amazing contraption is to be trialed in Africa this year. It has been created by Cranfield University in UK and will help the 2.3 billion persons who are living without having any access to hygienic and safe toilets.
Once you close the lid of this toilet, the amazing machine comes to life. The bowl’s bottom makes use of a rotation mechanism that allows it to sweep the waste into a chamber reserved for sedimentation. This prevents any odor from escaping the gadget. The waste is then made to move through a special nanotech membrane that filters it; separating the vaporized water molecules from the remainder of waste thus ensuring that pathogens and solids are not carried any further along with water.
This vaporized water is then directed towards a chamber that has been filled with nano-coated hydrophilic beads that enable the water vapors to condense and collect into a collection area beneath. This collected water is pure enough to be made use of when it comes to household washing and irrigating farms.
The solid waste and pathogens that were filtered are directed towards a second chamber via an Archimedean screw. Although this part of the design is still under development, the current idea is to incinerate the solid waste to have it convert into energy and ash. The energy shall be used for the powering of nano-membrane filtration process while the surplus energy will be used for charging mobile phones and other small devices. The only waste product of this process will be ash – enriched with nutrients and pathogen free – that will be used in farming. The toilet is capable of catering to a household of up to 10 persons.
It has been funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Reinvent the Toilet Challenge. This amazing design has also won the CleanEquity Monaco 2015 award. It will most probably be trialed in Ghana. As of right now, more than 650 million people do not have any access to clean water while more than 2.3 billion don’t have an access to a safe and private toilet. Researches are being carried out with the aim of helping these folks, but the ideas are usually too expensive to be practical.
The best thing about the ‘Nano Membrane Toilet’ is the fact that it is clean, aspirational and odorless apart from being able to work in environment that lacks water, external power and sewage. We are really excited to see how it works in the field.
The idea that is being sported is for the toilet to be rented to households via local organization. This will help in spreading and keeping the cost under 5 cents per person per day, which is the limit defined by the Gate Foundation’s challenge.
If everything goes according to plan then we might be seeing this amazing contraption finding applications in military, yachts, outdoor events and construction industry. The following video was made by Cranfield Water Science Institute for the Reinvent the toilet fair in 2014. Check it out and let us know what you think of this amazing gadget.