Consumption and expulsion: these are two facts of life. You eat, your digestive tract does its business, and then you do yours. End of story, or is it?
Without being too graphic, it all falls into the toilet (most of it, at least), and is suddenly flowing through a network of pipes and tubes used to divert said waste to a treatment plant.
However, many developing countries do not have enough money to pay for such a complex infrastructure.
This is where the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation come into the story. One of the most recent projects they have been funding is the OmniProcessor, a machine that turns poop into water (among other things).
The OmniProcessor, a machine approximately the size of two school buses functions three ways: as a steam power generator, as an incinerator, and as a water filtration center.
I know what you’re thinking. How does it taste?
“The water tasted as good as any I’ve had out of a bottle. … I would happily drink it every day. It’s that safe,” Bill Gates says.
Luckily for Bill (and whoever else tries this machine out), there’s a new app out there that detects hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen disulfide, and methyl mercaptan levels in your mouth.
This app, The Mint, is used to detect the three most common compounds associated with bad breath, like a breathalyzer detects alcohol. So you can see if the poop water you’re drinking really is clean.
All joking aside, folks, this OmniProcessor is a big deal.
“Diseases caused by poor sanitation kill some 700,000 children every year,” Gates writes. Even more than that die of dehydration.
Just one of these machines costs $1.5 million and can process the waste of 100,000 people. That is $15 per person for proper waste disposal, power, and clean drinking water. I find that remarkable.
Through technology and with the help of people with unconventional ideas, the world can become a better place.