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Bill Gates Names Reinvent the Toilet Challenge Winners
Scientific Computing ^ | 8/17/12

Posted on 08/18/2012 2:34:37 PM PDT by null and void

Bill Gates has announced the winners of the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge — an effort to develop “next-generation” toilets that will deliver safe and sustainable sanitation to the 2.5 billion people worldwide who don’t have it. The awards recognize researchers from leading universities who are developing innovative ways to manage human waste, which will help improve the health and lives of people around the world.

California Institute of Technology in the United States received the $100,000 first prize for designing a solar-powered toilet that generates hydrogen and electricity. Loughborough University in the United Kingdom won the $60,000 second place prize for a toilet that produces biological charcoal, minerals and clean water. University of Toronto in Canada won the third place prize of $40,000 for a toilet that sanitizes feces and urine and recovers resources and clean water. Special recognition and $40,000 went to Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology) and EOOS for their outstanding design of a toilet user interface.

One year ago, the foundation issued a challenge to universities to design toilets that can capture and process human waste without piped water, sewer or electrical connections, and transform human waste into useful resources, such as energy and water, at an affordable price.

The first, second and third place winning prototypes were recognized for most closely matching the criteria presented in the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge.

Teams showcased their prototypes and projects at a two-day event held at the foundation’s headquarters in Seattle on August 14 and 15, 2012. The Reinvent the Toilet Fair brings together participants from 29 countries, including researchers, designers, investors, advocates, and representatives of the communities who will ultimately adopt these new inventions.

“Innovative solutions change people’s lives for the better,” said foundation Co-chair Bill Gates. “If we apply creative thinking to everyday challenges, such as dealing with human waste, we can fix some of the world’s toughest problems.”

Unsafe methods to capture and treat human waste result in serious health problems and death. Food and water tainted with fecal matter result in 1.5 million child deaths every year. Most of these deaths could be prevented with the introduction of proper sanitation, along with safe drinking water and improved hygiene.

Improving access to sanitation also can bring substantial economic benefits. According to the World Health Organization, improved sanitation delivers up to $9 in social and economic benefits for every $1 invested because it increases productivity, reduces healthcare costs, and prevents illness, disability and early death.

Other projects featured at the fair included better ways to empty latrines, user-centered designs for public toilet facilities, and insect-based latrines that decompose feces faster.

“Imagine what’s possible if we continue to collaborate, stimulate new investment in this sector, and apply our ingenuity in the years ahead,” said Gates. “Many of these innovations will not only revolutionize sanitation in the developing world, but also help transform our dependence on traditional flush toilets in wealthy nations.”

Gates added: “All the participants are united by a common desire to create a better world — a world where no child dies needlessly from a lack of safe sanitation and where all people can live healthy, dignified lives.”

The Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WSH) initiative is part of the foundation’s Global Development Program, which addresses issues such as agricultural development and financial services — problems that affect the world’s poorest people but do not receive adequate attention. WSH has committed more than $370 million to this area, with a focus on developing sustainable sanitation services that work for everyone, including the poor.

The foundation also announced a second round of Reinvent the Toilet Challenge grants totaling nearly $3.4 million. The grants were awarded to: Cranfield University (United Kingdom); Eram Scientific Solutions Private Limited (India); Research Triangle Institute (United States); and the University of Colorado Boulder (United States).

Reinvent the Toilet Challenge Round 2 Winners

• Cranfield University: This nearly $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.

• Eram Scientific Solutions Private Limited: A grant of more than $450,000 will make public toilets more accessible to the urban poor via the eco-friendly and hygienic “eToilet.”

• Research Triangle Institute: This $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.

• University of Colorado Boulder: A nearly $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.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people — especially those with the fewest resources — have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, WA, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: billgates; toiletcontest; toiletdesign; toilets
One-up Al Gore?
1 posted on 08/18/2012 2:34:41 PM PDT by null and void
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To: null and void

What a Load of Crap


2 posted on 08/18/2012 2:36:43 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Whatever a homosexual union might be or represent, it is not physically marital. - F.Cardinal George)
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To: null and void

Talk about flushing good money down a drain.


3 posted on 08/18/2012 2:37:49 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.)
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To: null and void

It must be nice to have so much money you can afford to throw it down the toilet.


4 posted on 08/18/2012 2:39:00 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Whatever a homosexual union might be or represent, it is not physically marital. - F.Cardinal George)
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To: Jeff Chandler

Bill’s full o’shit.


5 posted on 08/18/2012 2:39:00 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: null and void
My entry.


6 posted on 08/18/2012 2:40:04 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong!)
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To: null and void
Bill Gates has announced the winners of the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge

This contest was over long ago - the co-winners were OS X and Linux.

7 posted on 08/18/2012 2:40:49 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: null and void
design of a toilet user interface

Window 9 Beta program is now open.

8 posted on 08/18/2012 2:41:13 PM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: null and void

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives

Coming from one of the richest men in the world, that concept is ludicrous. Seriously, his own corporation pays people vastly different amounts of salary based upon their worth to that corporation.

I have no problem with trying to find novel ways to improve the basic well-being of the developing world. But there typically is no magic bullet. What it takes is a market-driven economy to produce the wealth for what we in this country take for granted - clean running water, flush toilets, good roads and a reliable food supply. There are no shortcuts to that. You have to build a society with enough wealth to support such.

9 posted on 08/18/2012 2:41:35 PM PDT by dirtboy
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To: Jeff Chandler

Apparently we are now again up against The Klinton Toilet, Part No. Two !!!!!

oh crap!

The age of runaway stupid technology, coupled to dumbed-down common sense....blueprint for disaster...

Semper BS!
*****


10 posted on 08/18/2012 2:41:53 PM PDT by gunnyg ("A Constitution changed from Freedom, can never be restored; Liberty, once lost, is lost forever...)
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To: null and void

If you build it, they will...er...go...


11 posted on 08/18/2012 2:42:38 PM PDT by itzmygun (Elitism + hatred of mankind = LIBERALISM)
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To: null and void

This is what the bored rich think up while contemplating life sitting on their gold thrones in 1,000 sq foot bathrooms.


12 posted on 08/18/2012 2:42:46 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong!)
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To: dirtboy

Exactly.

All of these “winners” sound like they’re using tens of thousands of dollars of technology. How would that ever be available to all of the billions of human butts in the Third World (or should I say Turd World)?


13 posted on 08/18/2012 2:46:32 PM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: null and void

14 posted on 08/18/2012 2:48:08 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong!)
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To: null and void

This will be salvaged and dumped. No common sense.


15 posted on 08/18/2012 2:56:56 PM PDT by Domangart
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To: Revolting cat!

No mention what a toilet generating hydrogen and electricity costs ... $20,000 each? Just curious.

BTW with 3 or 4 billion I can make a toilet that will light a good-sized city but I wouldn’t let anyone crap in it. ;-)


16 posted on 08/18/2012 2:57:29 PM PDT by Tunehead54 (Nothing funny here ;-)
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To: null and void

Soylent Brown?


17 posted on 08/18/2012 3:00:47 PM PDT by Fresh Wind ('People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook.' Richard M. Nixon)
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To: null and void
University of Colorado Boulder: A nearly $780,000 grant .......produce biological charcoal (biochar) that can be used as a replacement for wood charcoal....


"Wanna Burger?"

18 posted on 08/18/2012 3:03:03 PM PDT by libertarian27 (Check my profile page for the FReeper Online Cookbook 2011)
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To: null and void; All
I love all the pie in the sky descriptions that don't tell actually how these miracle toilets really work without flush water. A couple of years ago a cousin of mine and I researched the possibility of her either using a composting toilet or combusting toilet at her cabin in the CA woods. Both alternatives were disgusting. A "composting toilet" is nothing but a gussied up outhouse where the user has to be constantly forking over the waste to make compost. Combusting toilets cost a bit north of $2,000 each, use gas or electricity, and tend to be both unsanitary and smelly.

Sounds like a "solar toilet" is a bit like a combusting toilet that depends on intermittent sun power to do its job. Like, DUH, I'm going to wait till the sun's out to take a dump. The others have wonderful, flowery descriptions that are notably unaccompanied by any drawings or specs showing how they actually operate vs. conventional flush toilets. The lack of real performance information says volumes about ineffective they probably are. The "reporter" was a dolt for not getting it and obviously lacked a good editor.

We need to see a lot more before we can call any of these devices better than conventional flush toilets. Methinks they're mostly greenie monstrosities.

19 posted on 08/18/2012 3:14:41 PM PDT by libstripper
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To: Tunehead54

I think it was at our church where there was a poster that had a little kid in Africa saying something like “You poop in clean water?!”

The areas where these folks live are on the margins of usefullness. (Was it that comdedian Sam Kinison yelling for them to move?). But, for whatever reason they don’t move. Any technology that folks can come up with would have to be cheap. And even then it is way more than they can afford.

I recall a thread on FR awhile ago on how some guy in India caught rats for a living - they smoke them out. With a $25 device he was able to catch twice as many rats and send his child to school so he won’t have to be a rat catcher.

But - he still only got the device through some grant program. He was able to pay it off over time. But to think that a $25 device could improve someone’s life so much is hard to believe.

It is the same with the new stoves (rocket stoves). Cheap ($50 or less), fuel efficient (fuel that used to go in a day now lasts a week), and healthier (way less smoke) - but still out of reach of most of the folks that need them.

I imagine the same with these toilets - even if they are at $50 a pop it would be too much.

But hey - at least it’s Bill’s money, and not coming from the government. Although I imagine there are similar programs that we pay for.


20 posted on 08/18/2012 3:17:25 PM PDT by 21twelve (So I [God] gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. Psalm 81:12)
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To: null and void
Here's one that runs on hot air and produces bull scat.


21 posted on 08/18/2012 3:36:59 PM PDT by Iron Munro ("Jiggle the Handle for Barry!")
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To: 21twelve

“But to think that a $25 device could improve someone’s life so much is hard to believe.”

Exchange rate- our $25 might well make him middle class in his own currency.


22 posted on 08/18/2012 3:58:45 PM PDT by GenXteacher (You have chosen dishonor to avoid war; you shall have war also.)
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To: null and void
Just what we need...a Jetsons 22nd Century toilet when today's toilets require two or three flushes just to get all the #2 out of the bowl. And don't get me started about this serious problem with conventional toilets: Exploding toilets prompt recall, lawsuit
23 posted on 08/18/2012 4:39:26 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: 21twelve
I think it was at our church where there was a poster that had a little kid in Africa saying something like “You poop in clean water?!”
In the same vein, we used to get 5 gallon jugs of North Carolina Mountain water from the Cashiers area down here in Florida. Grandma has a house up there and it was always a strange feeling when visiting to flush the stuff we were paying premium bucks to drink. ;-)
24 posted on 08/18/2012 4:43:56 PM PDT by Tunehead54 (Nothing funny here ;-)
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To: null and void
Poo! I Didn't know it ended so soon! My design is LIGHT YEARS ahead of anything anyone else would design.

SERIOUSLY!

I camp. I poo in the woods. I know how Nature intended things. The traditional toilet is not user friendly.

Trust me...

25 posted on 08/18/2012 4:44:52 PM PDT by prisoner6 (Right Wing Nuts bolt the Constitution together as the loose screws of the Left fall out!)
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To: libertarian27
"Wanna Burger?"


26 posted on 08/18/2012 4:49:12 PM PDT by ItsForTheChildren
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To: All; null and void

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value...

EXCEPT THE UNBORN, right Bill?

27 posted on 08/18/2012 4:59:15 PM PDT by newzjunkey (Election night is 81 days away.)
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To: GenXteacher
Yep. IIRC, he got 25 cents bounty (paid by the farmers) on each rat. He got to keep the rats to eat, plus any grain he found in their dens and fed his family.

With the device he went from catching 8-10 rats a day to 20+ a day. With the extra rats (and grain), his wife would cook them up and sell them for 25 cents.

I suppose an entrepreneur with a composting toilet (not sure you would need too much??) could go around collecting crap from folks, dry it/ treat it/ whatever, and then sell it back as fuel or fertilizer.

28 posted on 08/18/2012 5:19:30 PM PDT by 21twelve (So I [God] gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. Psalm 81:12)
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To: 21twelve

I take you have never been to rural Korea?

“Nightsoil” is used just about everywhere. The Korean bid on pumping out our (US Military) sewage system, weekly.

No, the Korean that paid the most got the weekly run. Seems American poop was valued highly for ...”content”.


29 posted on 08/18/2012 5:57:17 PM PDT by ASOC (What are you doing now that Mexico has become OUR Chechnya?)
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To: null and void

Silly hippies.

Whenever I hear of some hair brained idea like this to improve the world, -that is improve it in their bong brained haze of what they think reality is, then I like to play this little gem of an oldie, but goodie;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G880gxjj9dI&feature=related

Liberalism: It’s just wrong. Embarrassingly wrong.


30 posted on 08/18/2012 5:59:24 PM PDT by Wildbill22
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To: null and void

Bill Gates is a one trick pony. Yes he was smart enough to see personal computers were going to be big and needed an operating system and an office application for word processing, spread sheets and email. That made him very rich.

Now that he has moved on, he like a lot of folks in the Pacific Northwest is drinking the liberal, big government, one world cool aide. He has wasted a lot of money in Africa on malaria control as he won’t back DDT as a useful tool and he is now looking for a wonder crapper for dolts who crap in a hole and won’t eat with the left hand as it is still full of ass crumbs. These are the ones who when they come here have to be told not to put stones or chicken heads in our crappers. Bill, let Melinda decide where the money goes.


31 posted on 08/18/2012 6:37:03 PM PDT by RicocheT (Eat the rich only if you're certain it's your last meal)
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To: neverdem; Ernest_at_the_Beach; ShadowAce; Swordmaker

Thanks null and void.
...an effort to develop "next-generation" toilets that will deliver safe and sustainable sanitation to the 2.5 billion people worldwide who don't have it. The awards recognize researchers from leading universities who are developing innovative ways to manage human waste, which will help improve the health and lives of people around the world.
Each of these improved toilets need to include Mohammed toilet paper.


32 posted on 08/18/2012 6:41:54 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: null and void

Those gizmos would cost big bucks and be a waste of fertilizer. The better answer is shovel, cathole, defecate, bury, and leave untouched for a couple of years before using in gardening. Or do the fancy composting thing (if space is scarce). And ruralize the population more to afford space (despite the snotty effetes’ fear of Bubba).

Granted, nicer and easier-to-tend composting toilets exist. Gates and his kind are making our world too sterile and inarable. They are too far insulated from reality and the way things work. The answer to that problem might be to arrange vacations to Venus for the socialist rich (see “The Marching Morons,” By Cyril Kornbluth).


33 posted on 08/18/2012 7:51:05 PM PDT by familyop (Duncan Hunter or no-vote.)
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To: dirtboy
There are no shortcuts to that. You have to build a society with enough wealth ...right in one.

If people are given these things, then they won't be valued. You only need to look as far as any section 8 housing development right here in the USA to see that much. Ya got people living in their own filth, right here. Medicine (for now) and society (for now) here is developed enough to cover it up.

Gates has a noble idea, but its near worthless in practice.

34 posted on 08/18/2012 9:02:26 PM PDT by wbill
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To: null and void
What a thread.

(1) It's his money.

(2) Cholera. Worldwide, it affects 3–5 million people and causes 100,000–130,000 deaths a year as of 2010.

35 posted on 08/18/2012 9:34:26 PM PDT by TChad
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To: null and void

36 posted on 08/18/2012 10:43:44 PM PDT by Slyfox
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To: null and void
First runner-up:


37 posted on 08/18/2012 10:45:29 PM PDT by Slyfox
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To: Wildbill22

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNA5hPEVJC4&feature=related


38 posted on 08/19/2012 3:53:29 AM PDT by ansel12 (Massachusetts Governors, where the GOP goes for it's "conservative" Presidential candidates.)
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