Bill Gates next do-good mission is turning feces into water
Among the major concerns of every nation, and among the most deadly, if I may add, is sanitation. When met with insufficient sanitation facilities and measures, major calamities that hit nations can instantly foster secondary health problems.
The diseases and pathogens that can be brought about by poor sanitation and contaminated drinking water are innumerable. The United Nations has reported over 700 million people are deprived of clean and healthy drinking water, while over 2 billion lack proper sanitation.
Human waste is perhaps the last thing we would think of recycling. Admit it, just the thought of it gives us the chills. Why would anyone think of turning feces into something useful? And what useful thing would ever emerge from something so ghastly?
In a world where technology is constantly evolving, man has succeeded in finding ways to make life easier and better for everyone. From simple tasks as computing, to more complicated ones like data management, and even in infrastructure, technology has indeed become one of the reasons our lives have been changing for the better in this era.
Several charities and celebrities have reached out to the human race in hopes of finding better ways to give residents of nations in dire need of clean, drinking water. So far, man hasn’t found the perfect solution to this dilemma, and we continue to wonder how their lives are going to turn out to be better. Potable drinking water and its abundance continue to be a dream to the people of Africa and the like, and it is up to us how to make it a reality for them.
The idea of turning human feces into something useful, let alone potable, is like a dream. No less than Bill Gates, however, has shown us how this was made possible by an ingenious invention called the Omni Processor designed and created by an American company in Seattle.
Janicki Bionergy is an engineering firm who takes the world’s sanitation problems seriously. It is located north of Seattle in Washington, USA. The firm aims to raise sanitation issues awareness throughout the world. Their main concern is that in some countries, latrines are devoid of proper sewage and disposal, and more often than we want to admit making bodies of water their primary dumping sites. Contamination of drinking water for residents would then ensue. Numerous diseases and pathogens come from contaminated water, endangering the lives of children and people in the areas where this is a problem.
Janicki’s breakthrough invention, the Omni Processor, serves as a reservoir for human feces. Instead of the process of incinerating human waste (which, by the way, uses up more energy), this self-powered machine through steam engine technology is reported to produce over 80,000 liters of potable water in a day, and even electricity on top of that – all from human waste from a hundred thousand people. It also eliminates the problem of having human waste end up in the water supply. All of this while taking care of the unpleasant fecal smell we all detest.
Bill Gates is seen to be drinking a glass of the potable water that is the end product of burning, boiling and treatment of human waste. He proceeds to express how good the water tasted, and how he would not hesitate ingesting it on a daily basis.
But wait. What’s the catch? Is this going to cost an arm and a leg? How are underdeveloped countries, the ones who need this machine the most, going to fund this project and make it available for their people?
The Gates Foundation hopes to see this invention through, so much so that it has funded Janicki Bioenergy in developing the project to make it available for the countries who need it. Peter Janicki, founder of Janicki Bioenergy, has been to Africa and India several times to assess the severity of the human waste dilemma they are facing. This is only the beginning, though, as next year, Janicki is looking to set up an Omni Processor in Senegal for testing and further studies related to the project.
There is more of the Omni Processor than we have been informed of, and this invention is one that is sure to make great waves once made available. It does not only provide a solution to the drinking water problem of Africa and other similar third-world countries, it also takes care of the waste disposal problems our world is facing. Seeing the children of the poor countries grow up to be healthy members of the society is probably the best reward they can get out of this project. For now, the engineers are still developing this world-changing invention, and will be seeking partners from all over the world. Senegal is just the first step for Janicki Bioenergy into changing the world.