Bill Gates is known for being quite the philanthropist, backing innovations that can both change how the modern world lives and help those in need. His latest venture with such a mission in mind is a waterless toilet.
Called the Nano Membrane Toilet, it was developed by researchers at Cranfield University and recently received a giant boost in funding via the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
This remarkable toilet uses a waterless flush. Instead of water, it contains a unique rotating mechanism that drops waste into a holding tank all while blocking those odours.
The solids settle to the bottom, and the liquids float on top. Sounds gross if you ask us, but it’s disgusting for a reason; the solids are transported out of the tank by a mechanical screw into a combustor where it’s burnt to ash.
This process can then be generated into electricity to power both the toilet and for charging mobile phones. A toilet that can charge your phone? Sign us up.
The liquids are then sent into a holding chamber and then into a membrane bundle where clean water is extracted from the waste, while it’s best not to drink it. You can wash dishes and clothes and water plants using this filtered water.
Better yet, this toilet can operate in a ten person household and areas without access to a water supply and a proper sewage system.
A machine like this can drastically improve the global sanitation crisis, which according to UNICEF sees 2.5 billion people without access to a toilet.
Loaded staff writer Danielle De La Bastide has lived all over the planet and written for BuzzFeed, Thought Catalog as well as print publications throughout the Caribbean.