In a move to promote new and affordable dry toilets, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation issued a challenge to universities one year ago. 22 universities took part. The aim was to design toilets that can “capture and process human waste without piped water, sewer or electrical connections, and transform human waste into useful resources, such as energy and water, at an affordable price”. In a press release of August 14, 2012, the winners were named.
The California Institute of Technology in the USA received the 100’000 dollar first prize for designing a solar-powered toilet that generates hydrogen and electricity.
The other three winners were Cranfield University (UK – membranes/vaporisation), Eram Scientific Solutions Private Limited (India – eco-friendly), Research Triangle Institute (USA – biomass energy conversion) and the University of Colorado Boulder (USA – solar toilet producing bio charcoal).
The Swiss team of Tove Larsen (EAWAG) wins a recognition award of USD 40’000.- for their prototype.
This article is based on the press release of August 14, 2012, by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and on an EAWAG press release .