A Better Toilet

For A Cleaner World

“A Perfume that Smells Like Poop?”

by | Nov 20, 2016 | 0 comments

A very interesting post was recently published on the personal blog of Bill Gates. It is about odor, and it focuses on the the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s partnership with Firmenich and how they are attempting to combat odor, or eliminate it completely.

“Millions of new toilets are being built around the world to help end open defecation, including in India where a massive new toilet construction program is currently underway. This is great news. Unfortunately, many of these new toilets, especially the pit latrines, don’t get used because they smell bad and people continue to relieve themselves in the open where the air is fresher. This is a worrying trend that threatens to undermine the progress that’s been achieved in global sanitation.” – Bill Gates

As you may imagine, one of the many challenges we have faced in creating a sanitation system (and promoting its adoption), is a human’s natural aversion to the smells that can often occur with bathrooms used by the public.

A video from the post (also embedded below) includes a few scenes from Ahmedabad slums, and Christian Starkenmann applying Firmenich bleach powder in an Ahmedabad community toilet.

Our feces combustor, engineered by our partners at Colorado State University, is shown running semi-automated; National Instruments’ LabVIEW controls the pressure differential through the system and displays/records temperature data as “fuel” (dried human feces) is manually metered into the combustion chamber using two ball valves as an air-lock.

The heat from combustion is used to dry the human feces applied to the cast-iron automated rotating plate inside the dryer apparatus.

Our project has worked closely with Firmenich over the last 2 years. RTI and our partnership with SEWA facilitated this latest visit to slum areas for part of the filming of this video in September.

To read the post in its entirety, click here.


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