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Autarky toilet

The aim of the Autarky toilet is to completely dispose of faecal matter in any location – even without an external energy source or any connections to a sewage system.

Autarky Toilet

Objectives

Development of a toilet that completely disposes of faecal matter without an external energy source or any connections to a sewage system.

Background

Over two billion people do not have a toilet or have an unsatisfactory toilet. This is hazardous to their health and pollutes water. It is for this reason that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced the "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge" that sets the challenge of developing a toilet that completely disposes of faecal matter without an external energy source or any connections to a sewage system.

Result

Urine, flushing water and feces are processed separately in three different modules. Feces are completely converted into water and mineral compounds in an innovative process devised by the FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland. In the process, all substances are fully incinerated to produce carbon dioxide and water ("wet air oxidation") in a matter of minutes by means of compressed air. And the best aspect: the reaction does not require an external heat supply. The feces-disposal process even provides additional useful energy that can be used to heat water, for example.

Project information

Implementation partner Eawag Dübendorf, EOOS
Implementation FHNW Institute of Bioenergy and Resource Efficiency
Duration three years
Funding Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Project team Prof. Dr. Frédéric Vogel, Markus Roth, Fabienne Mangold
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