Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have invented a new toilet system that not only turns human waste into electricity and fertilizers, but also reduces the amount of water needed for flushing by up to 90%!
The system is known as the No-Mix Vacuum Toilet, due to its vacuum suction technology that is similar to those found on aircraft. The toilet system works by having two chambers separate the liquid and solid wastes so that only 0.2 liters (.05 gallons) of water are required for flushing instead of the usual 4 to 6 liters (1-1.5 gallons). If this system is installed in your average public restroom, it is estimated that is would save about 160,000 liters per year (42,267 gallons)!
The No-Mix Vacuum Toilet then diverts the liquid waste to a processing facility where components used for fertilizers — nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium can be recovered. Meanwhile all solid waste is sent to a bioreactor where it will be digested to release bio-gas which contains methane. The gas can then be converted to electricity and used to fuel power plants or fuel cells.
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