Why Bill Gates bought 200 litres of fake poo

August 16th, 2012

Maximum Performance

CRAPPY JOB: The synthetic poo is processed into cylinders using a sausage maker then used to test entrants in the Reinvent the Toilet fair.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has bought about 200 litres of fake poo to trial out revolutionary new toilets that don’t need water, electricity or even connection to a sewage system.

This week the foundation is holding its “Reinvent the Toilet Fair” aimed at improving the lives of the 2.6 billion people in the third world who do not have access to a toilet.

Many living in the poorest parts of the world are exposed to deadly disease because there are no pipes in their villages to support flushing toilets and no treatment plants – or not enough electricity – to treat sewage properly.

Using $3 million in grants from the foundation, eight engineers took up the challenge to reinvent the commode into a self-contained, power- and water-less system.

One solution is powered by feces, which it dries and burns into fertilizer. The researcher in South Africa who created the contraption told NPR it was “like a toilet you’d find in the spaceship” and said there would be left over energy “to power the latrine’s light and recharge your cellphone”.

Other prototypes include a solar-powered toilet and one that converts waste into electricity with microwave technology. They will all be displayed at the fair on August 14 and 15, which will reportedly be attended by Bill Gates himself.

“And, to give these newfangled toilet prototypes a test drive while at the fair, we need synthetic feces. About 50 gallons [approx 200 litres] of it,” said the foundation’s communications officer Diane Scott in a blog post.

“The recipe for the fair is simply soybean paste and rice – there’s a more complex recipe for hard-core research & development work.”

The unscented synthetic poo is being supplied by toilet testing organisation Maximum Performance, which supplies toilet makers worldwide.

A page on its website details, with pictures, the process of making and testing the fake poo, which is packaged into cylinders using a sausage maker.

i found it funny how they are aiming at "improving the lives of the 2.6 billion people in the third world who do not have access to a toilet" and one researcher said that it can produce power to charge your cell phone??? Pardon, starving – check, no clothes – check, no job – check, no housing – check, no toilet – check, CELLPHONE – CHECK!

Why Bill Gates bought 200 litres of fake poo

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