Most of you don’t really think about what happens with waste after you flush the toilet but that, as it turns out, is a really important question. And thinking about it, is what drove Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation to invest in a machine that turns feces into drinking water and electricity.
Developed countries usually spend (though some would argue waste is a better term) lots of money and especially energy in dealing with sanitation and cleaning waste water. But that solution doesn’t work at all for developing nations where more than 2 billion people don’t have access to proper facilities or the waste is disposed of in unsafe ways.
And that’s why the Gates Foundation is investing in “The Omniprocessor”, a sort of small scale waste processing plant that takes in human waste, and through a few processes puts out lots of clean water while also burning the leftover solids for electricity. Through that process the Omniprocessor powers itself and even generates a small amount of extra power that’s fed back into the grid.
The design was recently tested out in the US with successful results, with a bigger version set to start being trialed in Senegal later this year. If all goes well, and at this point that’s a considerable if, the Omniprocessor concept could start being sold to many developing as well as developed nations around the world.
Source: Gates Notes