Several technologies displayed at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India “will be field tested in coming months in cities across India and Africa”, writes Doulaye Koné in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) blog “Impatient Optimists”.
These include reinvented toilet technologies, pit latrine and septic tank emptying technologies, as well as sludge-to-energy processing technologies. Some of the participants at the fair in New Delhi, like the President of the Fecal Sludge Emptying Association from Senegal, wanted to buy some of the technologies on display on the spot. He was very disappointed to learn that we still need to do additional testing to validate their performances before commercialization but we were thrilled about his excitement.
Beside the field testing, the BMGF has announced a collaboration agreement with the South African government on sanitation innovation solutions. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has committed ZAR 30 million (US$ 2.7 million) to test and promote toilet technologies being developed by BMGF grantees in schools and rural communities in South Africa. BMGF is contributing US$ 1 million to support the testing of technologies selected. South Africa’s Water Research Commission is the implementing agency.
“In terms of rural school sanitation, the technologies will be demonstrated in the Cofimvaba district in the Eastern Cape as part of the Technology for Rural Education Development project,” the department said. “The technologies will also be demonstrated in the 23 district municipalities that have been identified by the government as critical in terms of service delivery.”
More information on BMGF sanitation grantees is avaialable on SuSanA.org.
- Doulaye Koné , What Happened at the “Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India” and What’s Next?, Impatient Optimists, 11 Apr 2004
- South Africa, Gates Foundation to ‘reinvent the toilet’, SouthAfrica.info, 28 Mar 2014
IRC’s WASHCost Project will be one of approximately 50 exhibits that will be on display during the two-day Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India. IRC will present the WASHCost Calculator; an online tool that helps professionals to plan for WASH services that are built to last.
The Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India is being co-hosted by the Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It will coincide with World Water Day on March 22, 2014. The fair is also supported by the Indian Ministry of Urban Development.
In 2011, the Gates Foundation launched the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge (RTTC) to develop toilets without connections to sewer, electrical, or water systems. Sixteen of those prototypes will be on display in India.
The WASHCost Calculator takes into account everything from construction, finance, and installation, to maintenance, repairs and eventual replacement. It raises issues such as who owns the infrastructure or who is responsible for replacement. It helps you to think about how you are going to maintain the service before you’re trying to build it. The online tool is designed to compare data across organisations and is dynamically updated, growing smarter with each additional project. And the tool is now online at: http://washcost.ircwash.org
IRC has created a poster, which gives an example of how the WASHCost Calculator can be used for rural sanitation in India.
- IRC selected as an exhibitor for the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India, IRC, 20 Mar 2014
- Girindre Beeharry and K. VijayRaghavan, Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India – Solutions for India and the World, Impatient Optimists, 10 Mar 2014
The Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is inviting innovators to send letters of inquiry for round 3 of the Reinvent The Toilet Challenge.
Successful applicants will receive grants to design, prototype and test on-site, self-contained sanitation modules for individual families or neighbourhoods. Self-contained means no connections to piped water, sewerage or energy (electricity/gas) utility services. with Capital and operational costs should not exceed US$ 0.05/user/day. Designs should be able to deal with sanitary products like paper, cloth, sand, and other personal hygiene products and chemicals.
There is a two-step application process:
- submission of a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) in the form of a 5 page concept note by 8 November 2012, 11:00pm PST
- eligible applicants will be requested to submit a full proposal
For the full call, submission guidelines and online application go to:
Bill Gates with His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange (left) at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair in Seattle on August 14, 2012. Photo: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a second round of Reinvent the Toilet Challenge grants totaling nearly US$ 3.4 million. The announcement took place on 14 August during the Reinvent the Toilet Fair in Seattle, USA (see also the earlier post Winners of the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge).
Cranfield University This nearly US$ 810,000 grant will help develop a prototype toilet that removes water from human waste and vaporizes it using a hand-operated vacuum pump and a unique membrane system. The remaining solids are turned into fuel that can also be used as fertilizer. The water vapor is condensed and can be used for washing, or irrigation. Read Cranfield University’s press release.
Contact: Fiona Siebrits/ +44 (0) 1234 758040 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Eram Scientific Solutions Private Limited A grant of more than US$ 450,000 will make public toilets more accessible to the urban poor via the eco-friendly and hygienic “eToilet.” Read earlier posts about Eram’s E-Toilet Delight here and here.
Contact: Manohar Varghese / +91 9747060700 / email@example.com
RTI International This US$ 1.3 million grant will fund the development of a self-contained toilet system that disinfects liquid waste and turns solid waste into fuel or electricity through a revolutionary new biomass energy conversion unit. For more info read RT’I’s press release
Contact: Lisa Bistreich-Wolfe / +1 919.316.3596 / firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Colorado Boulder A nearly US$ 780,000 grant will help develop a solar toilet that uses concentrated sunlight, directed and focused with a solar dish and concentrator, to disinfect liquid-solid waste and produce biological charcoal (biochar) that can be used as a replacement for wood charcoal or chemical fertilizers. Read the University’s press release.
Contact: Karl Linden / +1 303 302 0188/ Carol Rowe / +1 303 492 7426 / Carol.Rowe@colorado.edu
Source: Gates Foundation, 14 Aug 2012
A video demonstrates the working of the prototype of the solar-powered toilet that won the first prize of US$ 100,000 in the Reinventing the Toilet Challenge issued by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Solar-Powered Self-contained Human Waste Water Treatment System was developed by Prof. Michael Hoffmann‘s research group at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
In 2011 the Caltech team was awarded a US$ 400,000 grant to create a toilet that can safely dispose of human waste and reuse water for just five US dollar cents per user per day.
Solar energy powers an electrochemical reactor, which converts human waste into fertiliser and hydrogen, which is stored in hydrogen fuel cells as energy. The treated water can be reused to flush the toilet or for irrigation.
The toilet, which could cost US$ 1,000 or more per unit according to the Seattle Times, is still a prototype and would need to be adapted before it can be launched commercially.
Source: Marcus Woo, Caltech, 15 Aug 2012 ; Theodoric Meyer, Seattle Times, 14 Aug 2012
August 14, 2012 | By Bill Gates
Today I attended the Reinvent the Toilet Fair— a fascinating learning experience and an important step in providing safe sanitation for everyone in the world.
A solar-powered toilet that generates hydrogen and electricity – California Institute of Technology
A year ago, the foundation launched an initiative to tackle the problem of sanitation in the developing world. We called it the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge. In this photo gallery you can learn more about each of the grantees and their sanitation solutions.
This week in Seattle, the foundation is holding a Reinvent the Toilet Fair. Today I awarded prizes to three universities who responded to our challenge a year ago to come up with solutions for capturing and processing human waste and transforming it into useful resources.
The winners included:
- first place to California Institute of Technology in the United States for designing a solar-powered toilet that generates hydrogen and electricity,
- second place to Loughborough University in the United Kingdom for a toilet that produces biological charcoal, minerals, and clean water, and
- third place to University of Toronto in Canada for a toilet that sanitizes feces and urine and recovers resources and clean water.
A special recognition was awarded to Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology) and EOOS for their outstanding design of a toilet user-interface.
Watch this AP video report on the Reinvent the Toilet Fair.
On August 14, Bill Gates will present the “Re-invent the Toilet Challenge” awards. Last year, the Gates Foundation issued this challenge to create a toilet without piped-in water, a sewer connection, or outside electricity—all for less than 5 cents per user a day.
Now, just a year later, eight finalists from around the world will be showcasing their ideas through working prototypes and full scale models at the “Reinvent the Toilet Fair” hosted at the foundation. The fair aims to inspire collaboration around a shared mission of delivering a reinvented toilet for the 2.5 billion people worldwide that who don’t have access to safe and affordable sanitation.
Finalists include innovations such as a solar-powered toilet that generates cooking gas, a toilet that turns human waste into biological charcoal, and a toilet that turns waste into electricity.
In addition, nearly thirty Grand Challenges Explorations and other Water, Sanitation and Hygiene program grantees aligned with reinventing the toilet will display components of toilet prototypes, full-scale models, designs, and other proofs of concept. These exhibitors are showcasing a range of work, including latrine emptying solutions, user-centered designs for public toilet facilities, and insect-based latrines that decompose feces faster.
We will be sending a press release announcing the winner, along with photos and videos of the prototypes on August 14. We will also be blogging about the event on ImpatientOptimists.org. Tweets will use #innovation, #sanitation, and #toilet.
For more information, visit: