He watched the piles of feces go up the conveyer belt and drop into a large bin. A few minutes later, after a machine boiled and treated it, Bill Gates took a taste and proclaimed it, “Delicious.”
“The water tasted as good as any I’ve had out of a bottle,” wrote the billionaire on his blog. “And having studied the engineering behind it, I would happily drink it every day. It’s that safe.”
The goal of this Gates Foundation-funded project is not to sell bottled water. It’s about sanitation, and affordable ways to get rid of the human waste that contaminates drinking water and kills some 700,000 children in the developing world every year.
The machine, called the Omniprocessor, was designed by the Janicki Bioenergy company, an engineering firm near Seattle. During processing, the self-powering machine produces water and electricity (plus a little ash), and runs at such a high temperature that there’s no nasty smell. And, it meets every emissions standard set by the U.S. government.
In the months leading up to a new pilot project in Senegal, Gates talked about the other benefits:
“Our goal is to make the processors cheap enough that entrepreneurs in low- and middle-income countries will want to invest in them and then start profitable waste-treatment businesses.”
What is better than a system that turns waste into a commodity?
(WATCH the video below – READ more at GatesNotes.com)