Nano membrane toilet cross section
Nano membrane toilet cross section

Cranfield University announced today that they will be an exhibitor at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India event which will be co-hosted by the Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in March 2014. Cranfield will showcase a unique household toilet design that aims to help bring sanitation to those who need it most, entitled the Nano Membrane Toilet The fair is also supported by the Indian Ministry of Urban Development.

The Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India aims to stimulate discussion and spur partnerships to improve global sanitation and bring affordable sanitation solutions to people who need it most. The fair is also an opportunity to recognize India’s leadership and commitment to improving child health and fostering innovative solutions to persistent development challenges.

Cranfield’s project is one of approximately 50 exhibits that will be on display during the two-day fair. The University’s Nano Membrane Toilet is a household toilet designed to turn urine and faeces into clean, safe water. The toilet has a waterless flush that blocks the user’s view of the waste and prevents odours escaping. Hollow-fiber dense polymer nano-membranes enable water to be removed from the waste, leaving pathogens concentrated on the solids and allowing the water to be safely used in the home. The solids are then coated using a nano-spray mechanism which further contains odour and allows safe handling. The whole system runs off human power generated using a bicycle or hand crank, and has an aspirational design.

“Of the 1.1 billion people who defecate in the open, almost 60 percent are Indian,” said Professor K. Vijay Raghavan, secretary of the Indian Department of Biotechnology. “Sanitation solutions using the latest technology need not be complex or driven by expensive gadgetry, but they need to be innovative and address the many aspects of this multifaceted problem.”

“Today, because of a lack of toilets and poorly functioning infrastructure, massive amounts of untreated waste winds up in the environment, spreading disease,” said Brian Arbogast, director of the Water, Sanitation & Hygiene team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We are privileged to host the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India with our partners to advance conversations about sanitation – it is a testament to the Indian government’s commitment to improving how we deal with this pressing problem.”

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