Bill Gates invests in machine that turns poop into water and electricity

Bill Gates tries water treated by the Omniprocessor

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

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