Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New toilet turns human waste into electricity and fertilizer

Date:
June 26, 2012
Source:
Nanyang Technological University
Summary:
Scientists have invented a new toilet system that will turn human waste into electricity and fertilizers and also reduce the amount of water needed for flushing by up to 90 per cent compared to current toilet systems in Singapore.

Prof Chang, Dr Giannis, Prof Wang, Dr Rajagopal, and Dr Chen with the No Mix Vacuum Toilet.
Credit: Image courtesy of Nanyang Technological University

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have invented a new toilet system that will turn human waste into electricity and fertilisers and also reduce the amount of water needed for flushing by up to 90 per cent compared to current toilet systems in Singapore.

Related Articles


Dubbed the No-Mix Vacuum Toilet, it has two chambers that separate the liquid and solid wastes. Using vacuum suction technology, such as those used in aircraft lavatories, flushing liquids would now take only 0.2 litres of water while flushing solids require just one litre.

The existing conventional water closet uses about 4 to 6 litres of water per flush. If installed in a public restroom flushed 100 times a day, this next generation toilet system, will save about 160,000 litres in a year -- enough to fill a small pool 10 x 8 metres x 2m.

The NTU scientists are now looking to carry out trials by installing the toilet prototypes in two NTU restrooms. If all goes well, the world can expect to see and even sit on the new toilet in the next three years.

Associate Professor Wang Jing-Yuan, Director of the Residues and Resource Reclamation Centre (R3C) at NTU who is leading the research project, said that their ultimate aim is not only for the new toilet system to save water, but to have a complete recovery of resources so that none will be wasted in resource-scarce Singapore.

"Having the human waste separated at source and processed on-site would lower costs needed in recovering resources, as treating mixed waste is energy intensive and not cost-effective," Prof Wang said. "With our innovative toilet system, we can use simpler and cheaper methods of harvesting the useful chemicals and even produce fuel and energy from waste."

Aiming to convert all waste to resource, the new toilet system which is part of a project that has received $10 million from Singapore's National Research Foundation's Competitive Research Programme in 2010, will be useful for new housing estates, hotels, resorts, and especially communities not linked to the main sewerage system and so require their own sewerage facilities.

How it works

The No-Mix Vacuum Toilet will divert the liquid waste to a processing facility where components used for fertilisers such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium can be recovered.

At the same time, the solid waste will be sent to a bioreactor where it will be digested to release bio-gas which contains methane. Methane is odourless and can be used to replace natural gas used in stoves for cooking. Methane can also be converted to electricity if used to fuel power plants or fuel cells.

'Grey water' (used water from the laundry, shower and kitchen sink) can be released back into the drainage systems without further need for complex waste water treatment, while leftover food wastes can be sent either to the bioreactors or turned into compost and mixed with soil, resulting in a complete recovery of resources.

Assisting Assoc Prof Wang in the project are four other NTU researchers -- Asst Prof Chang Wei-Chung, Dr Chen Chia-Lung, Dr Apostolos Giannis and Dr Rajinikanth Rajagopal. This next-generation toilet and resource recovery system took the team one and a half years to develop and will be showcased to the industry at the upcoming WasteMET Asia 2012, held from the 1st to 4th July this year at Marina Bay Sands' Sands Expo and Convention Center.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Nanyang Technological University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Nanyang Technological University. "New toilet turns human waste into electricity and fertilizer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120626072942.htm>.
Nanyang Technological University. (2012, June 26). New toilet turns human waste into electricity and fertilizer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120626072942.htm
Nanyang Technological University. "New toilet turns human waste into electricity and fertilizer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120626072942.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NY Gov. on Flood Prep: 'prepared for the Worst'

NY Gov. on Flood Prep: 'prepared for the Worst'

AP (Nov. 23, 2014) First came the big storm. Now comes the big melt for residents of flood-prone areas around Buffalo. New York's governor says officials are preparing for the worst as the temperature is expected to rise and potentially melt several feet of snow. (Nov. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins