Bill Gates Backs Scheme to Create Drinking Water from Human Waste
Bill Gates has backed a new hi-tech water plant that converts human waste into clean water for the developing world. Mr Gates took to his blog at the beginning of the year to explain the process and stress the importance of such technology, including a video of the human waste being fed into the processor with the Microsoft founder tasting the end product himself; “The water tasted as good as any I’ve had out of a bottle. And having studied the engineering behind it, I would happily drink it every day. It’s that safe.”
Designed and built by Janicki Bioenergy, the OmniProcessor is a low-cost waste treatment water plant which has been backed by the Gates Foundation with the intention to improve sanitation in poor countries. The facility burns ‘sewer sludge’ (human waste) into clean drinking water, electricity and ash that is pathogen-free.
According to statistics released by international charity WaterAid UK:
- 500,000 children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation
- 748 million people in the world don’t have access to safe water
- 2.5 billion people don’t have access to adequate sanitation
Safe, affordable sanitation
In light of this crisis, there are constant developments in technology (such as the OmniProcessor) to create safe, affordable ways of improving sanitation in developing countries. These facilities will help prevent the number of deaths caused by poor sanitation and allow children to grow up healthy.
Many modern sewage plants use a great deal of energy, making them unsuitable for most poor countries. Through the innovative use of a steam engine, the OmniProcessor produces more than enough energy to power itself, with plenty of electricity left over to burn the next batch of waste.
The OmniProcessor provides cutting-edge technology where human waste can be burned safely. The machine operates at 1000 degrees Celsius so no unpleasant smells are given off and all emissions standards set by the U.S government are met.
The sewage system currently in place in developing countries provides poor sanitation, so what is needed is a very simple system to help improve quality of life. While many may suggest using the design of our sewage systems in poorer countries, as Mr Gates states: “Western toilets aren’t the answer, because they require a massive infrastructure of sewer lines and treatment plants that just isn’t feasible in many poor countries.”
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