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Innovative Toilets Of The Future To Use New Technology – And Old

Innovative Toilets Of The Future To Use New Technology – And Old

by Holly B. Cochran

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Curious as to what the toilets of the future will look like? The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sponsored a competition to design toilets of the future. Factored around sustainability and water management, these new technology super-poopers are still prototypes today. However, new innovations for making pooping safe for the world could be ready for business soon. Be advised, we are not making up the names of the devices.

Innovative Toilet of the Future by Eawag: Innovative Toilet of the FutureInnovative Toilet of the Future by Eawag: Innovative Toilet of the Future

1. Solar-Powered Poop Blaster

Solar Powered Poop Blaster: New Technology in Toilets - Solar Power and Innovative DesignSolar Powered Poop Blaster: New Technology in Toilets – Solar Power and Innovative Design
Technically the poop blaster is called the Porta-Toilet Facility, designed by researchers at CalTech. This system is a solar powered waste treatment system that turns poop into fuel. It can service up to 500 people a day and produce hydrogen, electricity and water. The water can then be used to flush the next time. The hydrogen is used in fuel cells that keep the toilet running after dark when the solar power is asleep.

2.  Three-Stream Toilet

Eawag Toilet System: New Innovation in Toilets of the Future by EawagEawag Toilet System: New Innovation in Toilets of the Future by Eawag

Using new innovations in toilet technology, the Eawag group – or Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology – created a squat porta-potty that automatically opens and closes. It separates liquids from solids, and then treats them independently. It recycles water used for flushing, and then seals itself after you have finished your business. In a questionable use of new technology, the Eawag toilet allows users to watch the progress of the poop through a clear plastic window. The group sees this bathroom renovation as ideal for developing countries.

3. Gasify Poo With Plasma

Delft University of Technology created a concept system that turns dried poop into hydrogen gas. This new innovation dries the feces first, and then burns it at super-hot temperatures. Super-hot as in over 2500 degrees Celsius. Plasma gasification occurs when an electrical current passes through a gas, creating plasma. The plasma is exposed to the pre-dried poop, creating hydrogen gas for storage in a fuel cell. This new technology also kills all pathogens in the dried feces, which is a major public health bathroom renovation boon.

Toilet That Converts Waste to Fuel: Future Technology for Toilets - Innovative Toilet Turns Waste to FuelToilet That Converts Waste to Fuel: Future Technology for Toilets – Innovative Toilet Turns Waste to Fuel

4. The Singapore Sling

Not to be outdone, the National University of Singapore used Pee Power to create urine-based fertilizer. The system is based on a urine-diversion toilet that separates Number One from Number Two. A solar-powered poop dryer does its thing, and then the poop is burned. The burning heat evaporates the urine, leaving two products behind: water and fertilizer.

Urine, it turns out, is made of lots of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. After the system has done its business, users are left with ash, water and fertilizer, all agriculturally useful products. The system uses old-fashioned manual labor to operate, which may be a drawback, especially when advertising poop-burner jobs in the local classifieds. However, many areas of the world desperately need both improved sanitation and agricultural fertilizer.

Singapore Prototype Toilet: Future Toilet Innovation - Singapore University Prototype ToiletSingapore Prototype Toilet: Future Toilet Innovation – Singapore University Prototype Toilet

5. The Poop Grinder

Bringing up the rear in bathroom renovation is Oklahoma State University with the poop grinder prototype. This device mechanically disinfects feces, making it safer to handle. The poop goes between two cones, which rotate and heat the poop to 200 degrees Celsius. The heat kills the bugs in the feces, reducing health risks from raw human waste. This machine is also crank-operated. The best thing about the Poop Grinder is the image and accompanying video.

Poop Grinder Prototype: New Innovations in Toilets - Poop Grinder from Oklahoma StatePoop Grinder Prototype: New Innovations in Toilets – Poop Grinder from Oklahoma State

If you watch the video, you’ll find out where in this contraption the poop goes in and comes out.

We think it is amazing how the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is supporting so much work towards sustainability and health issues in the developing world. Waste handling is but one part of the need for new innovations in waste management. Glamorous? No, probably not. But the new technology is definitely needed in an increasingly crowded world.

How do you think these future poopers can be adapted to everyday home use? Will your future bathroom renovation include technology to turn waste into fuel for your home? Are you as amused by some of these toilet names as I am?

– See more at:

RWM 2013 round-up

RWM 2013 round-up

20 September 2013

The Resource and Waste Management Show (RWM) 2013 provided waste industry representatives a chance to network and keep abreast of the latest innovations and developments from across the sector.

Industry representatives gathered to hear about the latest waste innovations

Industry representatives gathered to hear about the latest waste innovations

Organisers say that over 13,000 visitors were in attendance at the NEC in Birmingham across the three days (September 10-12).

Commenting on the 2013 event Steve Lee, chief executive the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) – one of RWM’s partner organisation – said: “Once again, the waste and resource management industry came together at the NEC to do business, gain insight into key trends and issues from a wealth of expert commentators, and network with colleagues and contacts.” rounds up some of the developments on show at this year’s exhibition.

Dennis Eagle meets Euro 6 standards

Dennis Eagle rolled out its ‘Elite 6’ model at RWM 2013, an addition the refuse collection vehicle manufacturer hoped would offer visitors a “sensory experience”.

In its drive to meet Euro 6, a standard whereby all heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) registering on or after December 31 2013 must be fitted with a Euro 6 engine, the company has spent £4.5 million developing its new fleet, with 50 orders in the pipeline so far.

The Elite 6 includes include LED lights for enhanced driver visibility, improved acoustic performance, greater in-cab comfort and safety, and reduced CO emissions. While not mandatory, the vehicle also features sensors to identify the proximity of pedestrians and cyclists.

Developed with Volvo, the Euro 6 engine is 4-5% more fuel efficient than its predecessor Euro 5, a difference Dennis Eagle intends to put to the test when trial collections are carried out in the coming weeks.

General sales manager Mick Friend said: “All in all, we believe the new Elite 6 chassis will deliver a greatly enhanced experience for operators, with even greater levels of safety and comfort.  The new model is now in production, and we’ve already got a healthy order book.  We’re confident that the Elite 6 will continue to be a firm favourite with our customers.”

CeDo unveils new bag at RWM

Disposable product manufacturer CeDo showcased a ‘game changing’ black bin liner at this year’s RWM show, part-manufactured from previously unrecyclable material of the household waste stream.

CeDo's new 'Household Waste - Saved from Landill' range

CeDo’s new ‘Household Waste – Saved from Landill’ range

The bag, part of the Household Waste – Saved from Landfill range, has been touted by the company as a “Made in Britain success story”, as the bin liner is 30% composed of UK plastics film domestic recyclate, a figure CeDo hopes to treble within two years.

An estimated five years in the making, the black bag uses dry cycling technology in order to separate and recycle the household waste stream. Unlike other bin liners which collect industrial or farm films as the primary feedstock, CeDo uses mixed plastics film waste.

As with its past products, CeDo hopes its range will achieve fully traceable and quality assured systems, while contributing to the UK’s drive for closed-loop solutions.

SAICA Natur improves UK retail recycling

SAICA Natur hosted two thought leader panels at the RWM’s C&I Theatre this year, highlighting the savings retailers can make by adopting zero waste operations.

Taking place on Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 September, the talks included speakers from Sainsbury’s, Travis Perkins, Kuhne & Nagel, Mall Cribbs Causeway, and Bristol Airport.

Prior to the talks, SAICA Natur regional director Charles Swainston said: “Naturally, some of the larger brands are doing well, and their activities have attracted significant media attention. But we were concerned that this could make other retailers think that change requires a big budget and team – which is most definitely not the case.”

Aware of the changing face of retail recycling, SAICA Natur previously illustrated how shopping centres could cut the amount of waste sent to landfill and achieve zero waste goals, by transforming the Princes Mead Shopping Centre in Farnborough (see story).

Biffa teams up with StreetLink and CIWM

This year’s RWM saw waste contractor Biffa partner with the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management (CIWM) and StreetLink, a service which allows the public to connect rough sleepers to local services, to promote the issue of homeless people sleeping in bins.

Drivers, who last year reported one fatality 20 incidents of finding individuals in bins, are trained by Biffa to check waste containers of their 60,000 commercial customers.

The contractor also hosted a press conference at the NEC show to launch a new piece of research, working with CIWM to determine how many people are found sleeping in bins each year, as well as where they are located and in what type of bins.

Tim Standring, Biffa’s divisional safety, health, environment and quality coach said: “The aim of the joint communications campaign with StreetLink is three-fold. We are seeking to raise awareness of the issue; highlight the dangers amongst rough sleepers of seeking shelter in bins; and to encourage waste management workers and their customers to contact StreetLink if they are concerned about someone sleeping rough.”

APP preparing ETI prototype proposal

The important role that gasification processes could play in delivering energy from waste facilities in the future was emphasised by Rolf Stein, chief executive of Swindon-based Advanced Plasma Power.

The company, he explained, is currently focusing a lot of its activity on a bid to develop a prototype facility for the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) which is running a competition process for funding for a demonstration facility in the UK. Mr Stein added that the company has secured an existing waste management site for the plant in the West Midlands and was soon to submit a planning amendment for the plant.

The AP-led consortium will design a demonstration facility with an electrical output of 6MWe. APP’s Gasplasma technology will be used to produce a clean syngas as a fuel for the development and demonstration of high-efficiency power generation solutions. The Gasplasma process uses a separate plasma furnace to crack and clean the crude syngas from a gasifier prior to its direct utilisation in gas engines or a gas turbine.

Mr Stein added that the company has received interest in the process “from all over the world” and that a demonstration facility in the UK would lead to “enablement of commercialisation”.

Simply Waste and MOBA join forces at RWM

Teaming up together at this year’s show, Simply Waste Solutions and MOBA Mobile Automation introduced their on-board weighing and bin identification system, which is currently available in the European market.

The MOBA system will be able to identify overflowing bins

The MOBA system will be able to identify overflowing bins

The partnership formed after Simply Waste, following a procurement search, was convinced by MOBA’s vibrating-wire technology in which weighing sensors convert force into electrical signal.

The system will identify overflowing bins to help their customers control the waste they present for collection.

Simply Waste managing director James Capel said: “This new investment in technology will provide our customers with even greater transparency on the waste they generate, which in turn could help them to reduce the volume of waste they produce and aid them to recycle more.”

Ian Lewis, MOBA UK general manager, added: “For many reasons, the UK has, so far, been slow to take up bin weighing technology but there is now a new breed of progressive waste management companies, like Simply Waste, who see great benefits in adopting our proven technology to help them improve their waste collection and recycling efficiencies.”