The Nano Membrane Toilet team
The Nano Membrane Toilet team

The team behind Cranfield University’s Nano Membrane Toilet have won two awards at the 2018 International Water Association (IWA) Project Innovation Awards in Tokyo.

Awarded biennially at the IWA World Water Congress, the Project Innovation Awards recognise and promote excellence and innovation in water management, research and technology.

At the awards ceremony, the Cranfield team picked up both the Kiran and Pallavi Patel Grand Innovation Award, presented to an outstanding example of innovation in the water sector, and the Gold award in the Breakthroughs in Research and Development category.

The Nano Membrane Toilet is being developed in response to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's ‘Reinvent the Toilet Challenge’. The challenge was to develop a toilet that provides a safe sanitation solution for the developing world, at minimal cost to the user. Many areas which lack access to this basic need are also those areas with non-existent or unreliable water, sewage and electricity supplies.

Cranfield’s solution is able to treat human waste on-site without external energy or water, allowing it to be safely transported away and potentially reused.

Dr Alison Parker, Lecturer in International Water and Sanitation at Cranfield University, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be recognised in this way and it is a credit to everyone who is working on the project.

“Far too many people across the world live without access to basic sanitation. We hope the work we are doing will provide a solution that will keep people healthy and promote clean environments.”


Nano Membrane Toilet video
How the Nano Membrane Toilet works

About Cranfield University

Cranfield is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.

Cranfield Water

Cranfield has over 40 years’ experience in the sector and we are recognised internationally for our work in the science, engineering and management of water. We work in all aspects of water – whether it is helping to ensure safe, clean supplies for domestic consumption, assessing agricultural needs for food production, protecting and enhancing natural habitats or improving process engineering for manufacturing and industry.

We have strategic partnerships with the Department for the Environment, Yorkshire Water, Severn Trent and Anglian Water.

Our activities are underpinned by world-class facilities, including a pilot-plant hall at the University’s own sewage treatment works, state-of-the-art soil and water laboratories, a grey water treatment pilot area, a managed borehole drilling site and soil and irrigation testing facilities.

We are a founding member of Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP); it is estimated that, to date, it has helped provide over one million people with clean drinking water, and some 400,000 with improved sanitation.

In 2015, we were awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for our education and research into safe water and sanitation for the world's poorest communities.