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The reinvented toilet, really?

by Julien

An illustration of the quest for a high-tech toilet with high-performance technology

The world press recently rejoiced when the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, associated since 2019 with Samsung through its Advanced Technology Institute (SAIT), presented the toilet of the 21st Century

The latest in high technology, this toilet recycles urine through a purification process, while the solid matter is dried and finally reduced to ash. The aim is to kill pathogens and dispose of waste safely, we’re told!

We won’t know any more about the on-board technology, its production cost, or the energy required to operate this “reinvented toilet”, the project for which was launched in 2011. Samsung, in its goodness, tells us that it plans to offer patent licenses to developing countries during the commercialization period.

Before going any further, we need to make it clear that we’re in favor of research in general, especially when it’s aimed at improving living conditions, eradicating disease, or advancing the well-being of all.

Since its launch in 2011, the ” the reinvented toilet” project had already given birth, in 2015, to the Tiger toilet, named after the worms (Tiger worms, or Eisenia fetida) used in the decomposition process.

For this Tiger toilet, the media’s favorite philanthropist granted $4.8 million in funding to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to perfect the technology.

The foundation has received $170,000 for initial tests in India, Myanmar and Uganda from the U.S. Agency for International Development. To date, 4,000 Tiger toilets have been deployed in India. But when it comes to developing ” next-gen ” toilet technology, Bill doesn’t count – he’s ready to add another $200 million for a sewage-free toilet! He also admits that by 2030, there is a $6 billion-a-year business opportunity.

Ready for anything, we say! In 2016, at theUniversity of Eldoret, KenyaA scientific study was carried out on the treatment of faeces, where 100 and 200 g samples from Nairobi’s slums were irradiated with microwaves at 465, 1,085 and 1,550 W for varying durations, up to 14 minutes of exposure. They were then dried for 24 hours at 105°C, or at 550°C for 2 hours.

In 2018, a standard ISO 30500:2018 was created with the aim of facilitating the development of on-site sanitation systems designed to meet basic sanitation needs and to promote economic, social and environmental sustainability through strategies including reducing resource consumption and converting the human excreta in products products.

As we wrote earlier, we’ve got nothing against research, nor Mr Bill, but we’d like to point out, in this story, that a simple solution already exists, a return to the land nutrients she has given us and thanks to you, who have been following us since 2010, you’ve saved an estimated 326,767,403 liters of water per year in 2021, for a total of 2,243,236,587 liters of water saved and 10,299,400 liters of compost created to date.

Ecological dry toilets :
consult the
Lecopot catalog

Our excrement is not waste to be reduced to ashes.

We have to recycle them to regain our place in the natural cycle. The solution is much simpler than we’re led to believe. The less costly and more effective solution is Ecosan*, or the creation of jobs to compost our materials, depending on whether we manage our individual or collective sanitation.

Conversely, when all developing countries are equipped with these super high-tech toilets, we’ll be able to increase sales of chemical fertilizers, since the nutrients have been dissolved, to accentuate the destruction of land and install power stations to run these magnificent toilets.

And what do you think? What will your ideal toilet look like in 2030?

*EcoSan: Ecological sanitation generally refers to any sanitation method based on the separation of grey water and excreta flows, and the recovery of urine and faecal matter using dry toilets.

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