“Next-generation” toilets showcased at Gates Foundation offer innovative sanitation solutions that can save and improve lives around the world
SEATTLE, (August 14, 2012) /PRNewswire/ — Bill Gates today announced the winners of the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge—an effort to develop “next-generation” toilets that will deliver safe and sustainable sanitation to the 2.5 billion people worldwide who don’t have it. The awards recognize researchers from leading universities who are developing innovative ways to manage human waste, which will help improve the health and lives of people around the world.
California Institute of Technology in the United States received the $100,000 first prize for designing a solar-powered toilet that generates hydrogen and electricity. Loughborough University in the United Kingdom won the $60,000 second place prize for a toilet that produces biological charcoal, minerals, and clean water. University of Toronto in Canada won the third place prize of $40,000 for a toilet that sanitizes feces and urine and recovers resources and clean water. Special recognition and $40,000 went to Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology) and EOOS for their outstanding design of a toilet user interface.
One year ago, the foundation issued a challenge to universities to design toilets that can capture and process human waste without piped water, sewer or electrical connections, and transform human waste into useful resources, such as energy and water, at an affordable price.
The first, second, and third place winning prototypes were recognized for most closely matching the criteria presented in the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge.
Teams are showcasing their prototypes and projects at a two-day event held at the foundation’s headquarters in Seattle on August 14 and 15. The Reinvent the Toilet Fair is bringing together participants from 29 countries, including researchers, designers, investors, advocates, and representatives of the communities who will ultimately adopt these new inventions.
“Innovative solutions change people’s lives for the better,” said foundation Co-chair Bill Gates. “If we apply creative thinking to everyday challenges, such as dealing with human waste, we can fix some of the world’s toughest problems.”
Unsafe methods to capture and treat human waste result in serious health problems and death. Food and water tainted with fecal matter result in 1.5 million child deaths every year. Most of these deaths could be prevented with the introduction of proper sanitation, along with safe drinking water and improved hygiene.
Improving access to sanitation can also bring substantial economic benefits. According to the World Health Organization, improved sanitation delivers up to $9 in social and economic benefits for every $1 invested because it increases productivity, reduces healthcare costs, and prevents illness, disability, and early death.
Other projects featured at the fair include better ways to empty latrines, user-centered designs for public toilet facilities, and insect-based latrines that decompose feces faster.
“Imagine what’s possible if we continue to collaborate, stimulate new investment in this sector, and apply our ingenuity in the years ahead,” said Gates. “Many of these innovations will not only revolutionize sanitation in the developing world, but also help transform our dependence on traditional flush toilets in wealthy nations.”
Gates added: “All the participants are united by a common desire to create a better world – a world where no child dies needlessly from a lack of safe sanitation and where all people can live healthy, dignified lives.”
The Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WSH) initiative is part of the foundation’s Global Development Program, which addresses issues such as agricultural development and financial services—problems that affect the world’s poorest people but do not receive adequate attention. WSH has committed more than $370 million to this area, with a focus on developing sustainable sanitation services that work for everyone, including the poor.
The foundation also announced a second round of Reinvent the Toilet Challenge grants totaling nearly $3.4 million. The grants were awarded to: Cranfield University (United Kingdom); Eram Scientific Solutions Private Limited (India); Research Triangle Institute (United States); and the University of Colorado Boulder (United States).
Reinvent the Toilet Challenge Round 2 Winners
This nearly $810,000 grant will help develop a prototype toilet that removes water from human waste and vaporizes it using a hand-operated vacuum pump and a unique membrane system. The remaining solids are turned into fuel that can also be used as fertilizer. The water vapor is condensed and can be used for washing, or irrigation.
Contact: Fiona Siebrits/ +44 (0) 1234 758040 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Eram Scientific Solutions Private Limited
A grant of more than $450,000 will make public toilets more accessible to the urban poor via the eco-friendly and hygienic “eToilet.”
Contact: Miss Ria John / +0471 4062125 / email@example.com
Research Triangle Institute
This $1.3 million grant will fund the development of a self-contained toilet system that disinfects liquid waste and turns solid waste into fuel or electricity through a revolutionary new biomass energy conversion unit.
Contact: Lisa Bistreich-Wolfe / +1 919.316.3596 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Universcity of Colorado Boulder
A nearly $780,000 grant will help develop a solar toilet that uses concentrated sunlight, directed and focused with a solar dish and concentrator, to disinfect liquid-solid waste and produce biological charcoal (biochar) that can be used as a replacement for wood charcoal or chemical fertilizers.
Contact: Karl Linden / +1 303 302 0188/ Carol Rowe / +1 303 492 7426 / Carol.Rowe@colorado.edu
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health with vaccines and other lifesaving tools and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to significantly improve education so that all young people have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. To learn more, visit www.gatesfoundation.org. You can also join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and our blog www.impatientoptimists.org.
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosting toilet fair in Seattle (mynorthwest.com)
- Why Bill Gates bought 200 litres of fake poo (stuff.co.nz)
- Bill Gates is trying to raise toilet awareness (thebusypost.wordpress.com)
press release Translations
source of all materials http://www.multivu.com/mnr/49395-bill-gates-names-winners-of-the-reinvent-the-toilet-challenge
While reuse of human biowaste/ biosolids (along the lines urine feces) for fertilizing is generating great excitement in the developing world, the United States is cautious in its embrace.
The following excerpt is from great story that explores this.
It is by SANDY LONG of the River Reporter addressing some of the concerns as she explores an honest mans adventure in making a lively-hood collecting the content of septic systems, processing it and them applying to the growing fields.
“Biosolids big bucks A ‘resource’ in more ways than one”
“NARROWSBURG, NY — Some used to call it nightsoil, hearkening to the
practice of applying raw human excrement to farm fields to increase soil fertility under cover of darkness. Back then, local waste hauler Ned Lang’s father applied septage to his own farm at the top of Peggy Runway, now Steep Hill Road in Pennsylvania. “My father utilized this resource, and we had the best crops around,” said Lang, who today provides biosolids, or treated sewage sludge, to 34 sites in Wayne County and two in Pike County, PA.”
“The name of Lang’s product is OrganaGrow, and it is the end result of a process that begins with everything we flush away or pour down a drain. His company, EnviroVentures, Inc., based in Narrowsburg, processes the wastewater it collects from residential septic systems, municipal wastewater treatment plants and food processors throughout the four-county region of Pike and Wayne in Pennsylvania and Sullivan and Orange in New York. “We bring it in, mix it, kill it, and send it out,” Lang said.”
To meet “…regulations, Lang draws on the services provided by Diane Garvey, president of Garvey Resources, a consulting firm specializing in biosolids for wastewater treatment plants, processors and research organizations”
Lang uses lime to elevate the pH to “…above 12, which kills the pathogens [bacteria, protozoa, enteric viruses and helminth worms].” It is we worth reading the full article on the process an application.
Ms Long also presents the concerns starting with :
“Whether it comes from cows, chickens, pigs or humans, all manure has an odor. But increasing concerns about the antibiotics and growth hormones fed to animals are now being extended to human waste products, which contain the residues of countless pharmaceuticals in addition to the largely unidentified substances contained in many household cleaning products.”
She does a great job presenting the facts that extend from this. She presenting the viewpoints of knowledgeable people including Lang’s and others like biologist Dr. Sandra Steingraber, “a distinguished visiting scholar at Ithaca College.”
She concludes with the financial potential for this product which is amazing:
“One thing is certain—there is no end to the source material. And there is a potential gold mine available to those positioned to manage the product. According to Harkinson, the Carlyle Group paid $772 million for the sludge-residuals company Synagro.”
the full article can be found “here” at riverreporter.com
- January 29, 07 The Carlyle Group to Acquire Synagro for $5.76 Per Share
- Google scholar -
Note: When we look at the rest of the worlds water problems, the ones of water starved California seem to be tiny, yet the significance and cost of this effort can not be overlooked. There is some sadness that the recycle water that is seen as impure in California, would be seen as gold in many parts of the world.
$1.9 million grant to help build recycled water pipeline
By Rachel McGrath
Monday, September 14, 2009
Ventura County Star web
The federal government has granted $1.9 million in economic stimulus funds to help build a pipeline to distribute recycled water in the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District.
The 24-inch pipeline will carry recycled water from the Tapia Water Reclamation Facility in Malibu Canyon and will tie into an existing distribution system nearly two miles to the north at Las Virgenes Road and Mulholland Highway.
Officials say the pipeline represents another stage in local efforts to expand the delivery and use of recycled water amid a state water shortage.
The Tapia plant is owned and operated jointly by the Las Virgenes district and the Triunfo Sanitation District, which together provide wastewater treatment, recycled water and other services for a region that includes Oak Park, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, parts of Thousand Oaks and neighboring areas of eastern Ventura County and western Los Angeles County.
The grant money was awarded to the Las Virgenes-Triunfo Joint Powers Authority by the federal Bureau of Reclamation’s water efficiency Challenge Grant Program, which is part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The total cost of the pipeline project is estimated at $4.5 million. After the $1.9 million federal grant, the balance of the cost, roughly $2.5 million, will be funded by the Joint Powers Authority.
David Lippman, director of facilities and operations for the Las Virgenes district, said the pipeline will be about 9,000 feet long. Future stages of development will add to the distribution system to deliver more recycled water to customers, he said.
“The use of recycled water decreases the amount of potable water brought into the district and so this is developing a local water resource,” Lippman said. “It also takes less energy to recycle water locally than to import it from the State Water Project,” which delivers water from Northern California to Southern California.
The federal stimulus money is designed to fund projects that will create immediate jobs, and work on the recycled water pipeline is expected to begin in October and to be completed by May 2010. Lippman said the contract for the construction project is currently out to bid.
The Las Virgenes district delivers about 6,500 acre feet of recycled water a year — roughly 2.1 billion gallons — which represents about 20 percent of the district’s annual water demand, he said.