Headline, October29, 2013



^^Each year 1.5 million children die from diarrhoea^^  Better toilets could reduce the death toll. .

But for now, the runner-up comes from Loughborough University in Britain. 

A tank feeds mixed urine and faeces through a rig that heats to 200 degree centigrade under high pressure, killing pathogens. Returning the super-heated mixture suddenly to atmospheric pressure causes it to separate into its liquid and gaseous components.

The gas is used o heat the feed tank. The liquid is fed into a digester that produces enough methane to power the system   -and some to spare.

The winning toilet is smarter still. It has been developed by Michael Hoffman of the California Institute of Technology, and has earned him the $100,000 first prize. His toilet uses solar panels to power an electrochemical system that turns waste into useful things:

One is a compound which oxidises the salts in urine to generate chlorine. This creates a mildly disinfecting solution that can be used to flush the toilet. The second is hydrogen, which is suitable for cooking or for powering a fuel cell to produce electricity. The residue from the process can be used as fertiliser

The Gates Foundation will  now pay for the prototypes to be tested in the field, probably all of the three winners and possibly of some other ideas. Bill Gates hopes that foundation's reinvented toilets will start being deployed more widely in as little as two years. 

They will thus be able to help achieve what is the most off-track of the UNs' Millennium Development Goals:

To halve by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to basic sanitation. As the chairman of the UN Secy Gen's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation observes,'' politicians and leaders worldwide don't like to be associated with toilets, even state-of-the-art toilets. This sanitation stigma distorts international and national development agendas.''

Dr Hoffman agrees that sanitation is insufficiently sexy. He says the technology behind his solar-powered toilet had been sitting on the shelf since he demonstrated it to NASA, America's space agency, in the early 1990s, for use on the International Space station. ''It is hard to get a scientific grant for treating faeces,'' he says.

Even the Gates Foundation itself, which hands out around '' $ 3 billion '' each year, has devoted just $6.5 million to its Reinventing The Toilet Challenge. But that will change as the project moves from conception to delivery. The Foundation plans to spend up to:

$800 million a year on sanitation, an investment that the World Health Organisation estimates will produce a return of 900% in the form of social economic benefits from the increased productivity and reduced health-care costs.

With respectful dedication to all  of the developing world! See ya all on the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

!!! Bright Ideas !!!

Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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