In order to tackle this problem the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has invested about $6.5 million into projects developed by various universities and organizations that are trying to ‘reinvent the toilet.’ In total the foundation spends about $80 million a year on water, sanitation, and hygiene issues.
(More: What Has Been Driving Global Oil Prices Recently?)
$100,000 has just been handed to the California Institute of Technology for its research into a self-contained, solar-powered lavatory system which recycles water and breaks down the waste into storable energy.
(More: Kazakhstan to Solidify Caspian Energy Role)
Caltech’s design uses energy from the sun to break down the waste into hydrogen gas, which is then stored in hydrogen fuel cells so that the unit can continue to operate during the night, or during times of low sunlight. The water used for flushing is cleaned and recycled to be used again for subsequent flushes.
By James Burgess of Oilprice.com
—This story originally appeared on Oilprice.com. Click here to read the original story.