As you read this post, millions of people in the world are doing the same thing: sit on the toilet and dispose of bodily waste. But what if this waste could have been converted into something practical for every household? That is the question that guided a group of Scientists from Nanyang Technological University that has succeeded in making every day poo into a source of energy.
The group has created the “No-Mix Vacuum Toilet”, made of two separate chambers that separate liquid and solid waste. One of the most compelling aspects of the new throne is that it reduces the amount of water used per flush by up to 90 percent in comparison to conventional toilets.
A conventional toilet uses about four to six liters of water per flush, but the vacuum suction technology in the No-Mix Vacuum toilet only uses 0.2 liters to flush liquid waste, and one liter to flush solids.
The toilet also turns waste into useful materials. According to NTU Assistant Professor Chang Wei-Chung from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, “the new system will not only save water, but the most important thing is we can convert the natural human waste into something very useful, such as fertilizers, biogas, energy and electricity as well. So that is the biggest advantage.”
Starting in July, a six-month trial will be carried out with prototypes installed on the NTU campus, where around 500 students will get to try them out. If all goes well with testing and reviews, they hope to commercialize the system and make it available for use in other countries.