Bill Gates Wants to Reinvent Toilet - as part of the news series by GeoBeats.
Bill Gates is spending some of his fortune on redesigning toilets. In an effort to address the sanitation and energy problems, Gates challenged scientists and designers to come up with a new kind of toilet that can be used without a septic system, running water or electricity, but rather turning the waste into energy or some other resource. The toilets also must not create pollution, all while operating for 5 cents or less per day. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Reinvent the Toilet fair was a great success with a variety of systems being developed and the winner getting more funding for development in the amount of 100 thousand dollars. The winner was Professor Michael Hoffman’s team of scientists from the California Institute of Technology. His solar powered toilet creates hydrogen gas and electricity.
The project is aimed at preventing disease caused by unsanitary conditions in developing countries. The United Nations estimate says that “disease caused by unsafe sanitation is responsible for half of the hospitalizations in the developing world,” according to the BBC.