Samsung has revealed that it is working on a major project to reinvent the toilet, in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. For the moment, the project takes the form of a prototype, capable of recycling its waste. The idea is to be able to market this type of toilet one day, especially in countries where clean water is scarce.
Samsung's research and development branch, based in South Korea, is working on this project and has just presented a first prototype. The energy-efficient prototype, which doesn't need to be connected to the sewage system, has been in development for three years.
The prototype incorporates various technologies designed to eliminate all traces of pathogenic elements present in stool, which are potentially dangerous for the environment. In addition, the system allows for the complete recycling of treated water, with liquid waste being purified and immediately reused, while solids are dehydrated, dried and reduced to ash. All this without any human intervention.
Samsung plans to offer free licenses on its patents in developing countries for mass marketing this new technology. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, half of humanity, or 3.6 billion people, still have to use unsafe sanitation facilities. As a result nearly 500,000 children under the age of five die each year from diarrhea-based diseases caused by limited access to clean water.
The Reinvent the Toilet challenge is an initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, launched in 2011, to develop technologies that can manage human waste safely and efficiently. – AFP Relaxnews