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Bill Gates Commits $370M to Reinventing the Toilet

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posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 07:54 AM
It sounds a little odd at first. But it really makes sense especially in areas without public sewer systems. He's got some good ideas for dealing with human waste. There are currently toilets that will incinerate solid waste. However, Gates takes that just a couple of steps further.

These aren't your typical loos. One uses microwave energy to transform human waste into electricity. Another captures urine and uses it for flushing. And still another turns excrement into charcoal.

They are part of a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation competition to reinvent the toilet for the 2.5 billion people around the world who don't have access to modern sanitation.

If you've got the money why not put it to good use in a way not commonly thought of.

Tough guidelines for this challenge

Scientists from around the world have taken up the challenge, and the foundation announced some projects Tuesday that will be getting more money to take their ideas from the lab to cities.

There, local entrepreneurs will use the new technology to turn pollution into cash.

"We couldn't be happier with the response that we've gotten," Bill Gates said.

To pass the foundation's threshold for the world's next toilet, it must operate without running water, electricity or a septic system, not discharge pollutants, preferably capture energy or other resources, and operate at a cost of 5 cents a day.

The Main Motivator

The United Nations estimates disease caused by unsafe sanitation results in about half the hospitalizations in the developing world. About 1.5 million children die each year from diarrheal disease.

Scientists believe most of these deaths could be prevented with proper sanitation, along with safe drinking water and improved hygiene.

This one sounds odd but is brilliant in its simplicity. Just Biochemistry at its best

Other projects on display were not so high-tech, including one from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine that sends black soldier fly larvae inside latrines and even home toilets to process waste, resulting in high quality, environmentally friendly animal feed at a cost of a penny a day.

The fly larvae project is already being field tested in Cape Town, South Africa, and the inventors are working on a kit to sell to entrepreneurs. They have had inquiries from Haiti, Sudan, Kenya and Ghana about adopting the approach.

Maybe some of these ideas will end up being used in our nations rest stops, national parks and rural retreats...

posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 08:12 AM
Nice thread. At the outset, you wonder why he would invest millions in toilets, then you posted why. Gates puts a lot of money into impoverished nations in Africa. Which is why he invests so much in AIDS research. He puts a lot of money in the states too, they just keep it quiet.

Sickness is rampant in these areas because of poor hygiene and sanitation. Great idea to come up with modern methods of waste removal when there is no infrastructure.

posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 08:42 AM
Funny thing that,If Billy and milida were really into depop...youd think they stop trying to save more lives....
Maybe just a couple of rich hippies after all hey?

posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 08:59 AM
Original mesage was a bit brash, but this thread already exists...someone posted about this yesterday....fake poo and all.
edit on 15-8-2012 by MmmPie because: whoa!

posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 09:11 AM
Please add your thoughts to the existing thread.

Thank you.

Thread closed.

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