Waterless toilet turns human waste into energy

Published in Recycling by

Here’s a solution that potentially affects the daily lives of all six billion people on earth. Because everyone needs to go to the toilet on a daily basis. Loowatt is an off grid, no-water and odorless toilet that seals human waste within biodegradable film. The package can than be used in anaerobic digestion systems to provide biogas for cooking, electricity, and fertilizer.

The Loowatt system is developed by British Industrial Design Engineer Virginia Gardiner. She founded Loowatt Ltd. after developing the toilet and system concept during her masters’ degree at the Royal College of Art in 2008. Loowatt now has teams working in the UK and Madagascar, where the system is still in piloting stages. Recently Gardiner presented the system at TEDxBrixton.

The patented mechanical sealing unit is about the size of a shoebox. It separates liquids from solids, locks out smells, and contains waste. According to Loowatt’s website the sealing unit can be built into toilets of any shape, size and specification, using off-the-shelf parts and local materials to maximize value.

In the UK Loowatt also markets a Loowatt Event System that consists of a toilet trailer, the Loo Unit, and the Watt Unit, an optional portable generator that uses biogas to generate electricity and heating at remote sites. The Loo and Watt units can be used separately, or combined into an onsite toilet and energy system.

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