Bowled Over by Toilet Technology

Super smart seats and community-conscious commodes aimed at huddled masses yearning to breathe free

1 min read
Bowled Over by Toilet Technology
Photo-Illustration: Eawag/EOOS

Photo: Caltech
Researchers at Caltech won last year’s Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, receiving the US $100 000 grand prize from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Their entry was a solar-powered toilet and wastewater treatment system designed to prevent the thousands of fatalities caused by pathogens bred in open-air pits. Caltech’s demonstration unit features a Western toilet, a urinal, and a squat toilet. A solar panel generates enough electricity to power an electrochemical process that sanitizes the liquid and turns the solid waste into fertilizer.

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