Last year, we wrote about a challenge that former Microsoft CEO and philanthropist Bill Gates posed to the scientific and engineering community: reinvent the toilet. According to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, forty percent of people on Earth, or about 2.5 billion people, don’t have a safe and sanitary way of doing their business, so the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge was born.
This week, Gates awarded grant prizes to three universities for their innovative commodes. The California Institute of Technology won first prize for their solar-powered toilet that also generates hydrogen and electricity. In second place, Loughborough University in the UK designed a toilet that produces biological charcoal, minerals, and clean water. Third place went to the University of Toronto in Canada for their toilet that sanitizes fecal matter and urine, and recovers clean water. An honorable mention was given to Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology) and EOOS, an Austrian design firm, for an innovative toilet user-interface.
Congrats to all the winners! Here’s to a less crappy world!
Article from the Gates Notes: And the Winners of the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge Awards are…
Flashback: Bill Gates Wants to Reinvent the Toilet