Bill Gates is currently working with a company called Janicki Bioenergy that built a revolutionary sewage treatment machine able to transform human waste and sewage into drinkable water, electricity, and pathogen-free ash. The Omniprocessor was created to provide potable water for those in need in developing countries.
According to Forbes, the machine operates based on a simple three-part system. First it takes the human waste and sewer sludge up a conveyor belt, where it is boiled into vapor. Then, the dried sludge goes into a burner and produces high-pressure steam, which travels down to a generator to produce electricity that powers the machine and surrounding communities. Finally, the vapor that has been gathered from the sludge is processed through a cleaning system and transformed into clean, fresh H2O.
Gates, who witnessed the entire process, commented on what he saw in a recent blog post.
"I watched the piles of feces go up the conveyor belt and drop into a large bin. They made their way through the machine, getting boiled and treated. A few minutes later I took a long taste of the end result: a glass of delicious drinking water. The water tasted as good as any I've had out of a bottle. And having studied the engineering behind it, I would happily drink it every day. It's that safe."
The revolutionary Omniprocessor has the capacity to process waste from 100,000 people, which equates to around 86,000 liters of drinkable water per day and 250 kilowatts of electricity, without violating any of the emission standards outlined by the U.S. government. It comes as no surprise that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has endorsed this project, and provided funding for the company to carry out its first demonstration project in Senegal.
According to Bill Gates, around two billion people in the world use toilets that are not drained properly, leading to contamination of drinking water for millions of other people. Gates further remarked that over 700,000 children die each year as a result of poor sanitation conditions.
The Gates Foundation has always been an exponent for improving the quality of people's lives around the world, especially when it comes to sanitary conditions. The Omniprocessor will undoubtedly be a step toward providing clean drinking water to developing countries in the world where there is limited access to such supplies. Gates remains excited and optimistic about the potential this processor could have for the future.