If there is one person we should pick, who knows how crucial access to clean drinking water and electricity in the developing world, that will definitely be Bill Gates. Unlike others, who only provide funding to clean their guilty conscious, Gates goes, sees and tries- even if that means drinking recycled water from feces.
We all know the famous saying “desperate times call for desperate measures” but I would like to change it a bit to “desperate times call for engineering creativity and imagination”. Let me explain.
Over the past few years, we have been presenting you stories, which were truly remarkable. Teenagers, affected either directly, or indirectly, by limited resources, or life-threatening situations, invented incredible technologies. You probably remember the stories of the Kenyan teenager, who invented a poop bio-reactor, the Indian teenager, who designed a pedal-powered washing machine, or the Australian student, who invented a device to purify water, all of which are among the highest read pieces on GreenOptimistic, and rightfully so.
All of the above had a single aim, and that was to solve a life-threatening issue, and this is why a noble approach to solutions will always steal the headlines.
The latest such invention is one, which managed to circulate the net in a matter of hours after one of the world leading investors in solutions for environmental problems posted it on his blog. The invention is the Omniprocessor, a machine that burns human feces and turns them into drinking water and electricity, and the celebrity tester is Bill Gates.
The prototype of the machine developed by Janicki Bioenergy, is currently located in Sedro-Wooley, Washington. The machine can process as much as 92.3 cubic meters of sewer sludge per day and convert it into maximum of 86,000 liters of drinking water, and maximum of 300kW power. The water is entirely safe to drink, meeting both the US FDA and WHO standards, and it managed to satisfy the thirst of one of the richest men in the world, leaving him asking for more.
As Bill Gates says in his video interview, which also shows the machine in action, the engineers managed to develop something truly impressive that can actually work in the developing world and help billions of people every day.
The pilot project and real-life testing of the Omniprocessor is scheduled to begin later on this year in Senegal. Something tells me, this will definitely not be the last we hear of it.
Image (c) GatesNotes