Gates Foundation launches several rounds of reinvent the toilet challenge (RTTC) - and RTTC fair in Seattle in August 2012
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TOPIC: Gates Foundation launches several rounds of reinvent the toilet challenge (RTTC) - and RTTC fair in Seattle in August 2012

Re: Gates Foundation launches 2nd round of reinvent the toilet challenge 03 Sep 2012 00:29 #2178

  • Carol McCreary
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Re: Reinvent the Toilet Fair

Happy to see that the Gates Foundation has posted a list of 10 videos on Reinvent the Toilet, eight of which are quick overviews of teams participating at the Fair. While there's not a lot of technical detail, at least you can see how prototypes are set up. www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAA2616C5...C99&feature=plcp

I've also incorporated links to individual projects in my evolving blog post. www.phlush.org/2012/08/17/reinvent-the-toilet-fair/

A toilet that converts human waste to fuel gas. Delft University of Technology. The Netherlands.

Diversion for safe sanitation participating organizations: EAWAG: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology; EOOS. Switzerland.

A community bathroom block that recovers clean water, nutrients, and energy. University of Kwazulu-Natal. South Africa.

A toilet that produces biological charcoal, minerals and clean water. Longborough University, United Kingdom.

A toilet that sanitizes feces and urine to recover resources and energy. University of Toronto. Canada.

A urine-diverting combustion toilet. National University of Singapore. Singapore.

A solar-powered toilet that generates hydrogen and electricity. California Institute of Technology, USA.

A sanitation system that comverst human waste into biological charcoal. Participating organizations: Stanford University and the Climate Foundation, USA
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Re: Gates Foundation launches 2nd round of reinvent the toilet challenge 06 Sep 2012 05:22 #2203

  • Langergraber
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Dear all,
attached a scanned copy of an article from the Vienniese weekly newspaper "Falter" on the "Reinvent the toilet" challenge of the BMGF.
A Vienniese designer is interviewed, he is working together with EAWAG.
Sorry, but the article is in German only.
Best regards,
Guenter Langergraber
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Dr Guenter Langergraber
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Institute of Sanitary Engineering
BOKU University
Vienna, Austria
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Gates Foundation launches 3rd round of reinvent the toilet challenge 02 Oct 2012 11:08 #2366

  • jkeichholz
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Round 3 has just been announced:

Request for LOI: Reinvent the Toilet Challenge,
Round 3
RFP Number: SOL1071002
Open Date: October 1, 2012
Proposals Due: November 8, 2012 by 11:00pm PST
WSH Program Goal
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Water, Sanitation & Hygiene team is working with partners to develop sustainable sanitation services that work for everyone. Our approach aims to expand the use of sanitation that does not connect to a sewer, as this is by far the most common type used by the poor. We invest in effective approaches that help end open defecation and unsafe sanitation and we help develop the tools and technologies that will increase access to sustainable non-piped sanitation for the urban poor.
The Sanitation Challenge
A large share of the solids and liquids people eat and drink are passed on in urine and feces. Human waste contains potentially valuable and recyclable resources such as water, energy, urea, and minerals. It also consists of large amounts of useful as well as harmful microorganisms, mostly bacteria, as well as pathogens ranging in size from viruses to helminthes. Many diseases are passed on from person to person through the fecal-oral pathway—pathogens in one person’s waste end up ingested by another. For some diseases, this is the primary transmission pathway; for others, it is one of several transmission pathways. Human waste also contains residues of the many complex, engineered chemicals people use, such as food additives, antibiotics, hormones, and nutritional supplements, some of which remain in the environment and result in unsafe accumulation in waste sinks.
Goal of This Request for Letters of Inquiry
The third round of the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge is designed to prototype a means of dealing effectively and cost-efficiently with human waste for the 2.5 billion people on earth who currently lack access to safe and affordable sanitation.
Successful applicants will participate in the next phase of the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge by designing, prototyping and testing entirely stand-alone, self-contained, practical sanitation modules which intake bodily wastes or fecal sludge collected from pit latrines and septic tanks and swiftly dispose of them without any incoming water piping, outgoing sewer piping or electric or gas utility services. These modules must intake all outputs of the serviced population – ultimately at single-residence scales (smaller-scale individual family toilet solutions) or group of households (larger-scale neighborhood fecal sludge processor solutions)– with minimal module footprints and assured biosafety. The anticipated capital and operational cost for the final products (commercial units) is expected to be less than $0.05/user/day, both for the family and neighborhood solutions. The design should anticipate the effects and fate of complementary sanitary products entering the system such as paper, cloth, sand, and other personal hygiene products and chemicals.
How to Apply
This RFP will use a mandatory two-step application process. The first step requires the submission of a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) in the form of a 5 page concept note, detailed in the RFLOI Overview and Guidelines. After evaluation of all LOIs received, the foundation will contact those applicants who are eligible and have projects of further interest to complete step two—the submission of a full proposal. If invited to submit a full proposal, instructions on the preparation of the proposal will be provided at the time of invitation.
Note: In order to ensure a timely review, we require that all letters of inquiry be submitted in English.
Click here to Apply for this LOI
More Information
Detailed information about the objectives, scope, eligibility criteria, and application process is provided in the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge Round 3 Rules and Guidelines: RFLOI Overview and Guidelines (PDF)
Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
For more information, you may email us as: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


src: www.gatesfoundation.org/watersanitationh...oilet-challenge.aspx
Juergen Eichholz
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www.saniblog.org
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Re: Gates Foundation launches several rounds of reinvent the toilet challenge (RTTC) 04 Oct 2012 09:26 #2388

  • jkeichholz
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Here's another project with an onsite sanitation proposal: The Nano Membrane Toilet

==> water & sludge briquettes as end products, vacuum pump to be manually operated by toilet user

www.nanomembranetoilet.org/index.php

Great approach, imo, but what I don't like is this:
The polymer to be sprayed will be ε-caprolactone and will also incorporate a nanomaterial with bactericidal properties (e.g. Ag or TiO2). This will establish a physical barrier between the sludge and the environment as well as killing some of the bacteria.


Also, I wonder how many UDDTs the fund could have financed (like the one by Woo Woo, the latest SuSanA partner org www.waterlesstoilets.co.uk/).
Juergen Eichholz
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Re: Gates Foundation launches several rounds of reinvent the toilet challenge (RTTC) 05 Oct 2012 06:13 #2398

  • Marijn Zandee
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There seems to be some progress in the direction the challenge is developing, in the sense that they also want to address the issues of pre-digested sludge and that they now call on applicants to consider all the other stuff that goes down toilets.

It is too bad that there is so little information being made available on how the processes that are being researched work. The way things are presented thus far I get the feeling that actually none or very few of the solutions pioneered follow the design brief as in the challenge statement.

For example, solutions need to be off grid, but then a solar panel is allowed? How do they defend that? Solar voltage take is still more expensive then grid power in almost any place. To me saying you want to be off grid and then award a solution with a solar panel as the winner seems very strange.

Also with the Nano membrane toilet mentioned above, as far as I understand they will not deliver a product that is bio-safe. The briquettes they propose to make are essentially untreated thickened sludge. So unless I am missing something mayor in their texts they are not safe for re-use in agriculture, especially when we consider worm eggs.

As I am sure at least one person at BMGF is reading these posts, I would like to call on them to create an on-line platform where they share information and come to a dialogue on why they sometimes seem to go against their own design briefs. For many of us working in sanitation it would be a very interesting if the challenges would be more transparent and open source. I think ultimately that the groups involved in the challenge would also benefit from a more open approach.

Kind regards

Marijn Zandee
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Re: Gates Foundation launches several rounds of reinvent the toilet challenge (RTTC) 05 Oct 2012 09:41 #2399

  • jkeichholz
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Hi Marijn,
I agree with your concerns and also find it a bit strange that most solutions we've heard about so far are focused on water treatment - and not on what's actually flushed down a toilet. Also, the miso test sausages (even though they are part of the official norm test for toilets) can't deliver the full picture.

I'd like to defend the solar approach though, because I guess they are looking at countries like Kenya where grid power is unavailable or unreliable so that many upcountry folks in Kenya have meanwhile resorted to solar panels which are hooked up to a (used car) battery. A solar panel also serves as a "multi-purpose machine" as it can recharge mobile phones or power something else that will be used to generate income. In fact, there's a (Dutch CEO!) company in Kenya already producing solar panels from imported silicium debris. The market leader is SunTech from China though. So solar panels are already widely available in those target markets and approved products. My understanding is that BMGF is looking at East Africa in particular.

And yes, it would be great to have an open platform where we can discuss these technologies and/or have more inventors openly sharing their approaches, but obviously, they come from a different background where such a point of view isn't part of the package and/or they are restricted by/afraid of IPR. I am glad that we have this forum here and don't have to use e.g. YouTube's comment section where we'd also be dealing with the usual pee & poo trolls. Still, BMGF would be well advised to allow a more open dialogue, especially since most forum members here are practitioners with an imagineering point of view.
Juergen Eichholz
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Last Edit: 05 Oct 2012 09:44 by jkeichholz.
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Re: Gates Foundation launches several rounds of reinvent the toilet challenge (RTTC) 05 Oct 2012 10:35 #2402

  • Marijn Zandee
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Hi Juergen,

For me the solar, even if probably perfectly workable in a technical sense, is another example of how some of the solutions seem to go against the spirit of the challenge. If I recall correctly the suggestion at the start of the challenge was pretty much that off-grid meant with no electrical input. For instance in one presentation there was this message about the thermodynamics of the process showing that it could be energy neutral.

Cool that they are making solar panels in Kenia now, we need that here in Nepal:-). For next winter they project two 9 hour power-cuts per day.

It is good that we can discuss the projects here, it would just be nice if there was a platform through which the BMGF would actually interact with "practitioners" in stead of leaving us speculating .

Regards

Marijn
Marijn Zandee
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Re: Gates Foundation launches several rounds of reinvent the toilet challenge (RTTC) 07 Oct 2012 12:55 #2410

  • RowanBarber
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I have been reading through the posts on this topic and it makes me wonder....

How have telecomunications companies succeeded to convince most people of the economic and social benefits of telephones and we cannot convince people of the economic, social and environmental benefits of sustainable, designated places to defecate and/or urinate...?
Rowan Barber
Australian Sustainable Business Group
Engineers Without Borders Australia
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Re: Gates Foundation launches several rounds of reinvent the toilet challenge (RTTC) 07 Oct 2012 15:43 #2413

  • jkeichholz
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RowanBarber wrote:
How have telecomunications companies succeeded to convince most people of the economic and social benefits of telephones and we cannot convince people of the economic, social and environmental benefits of sustainable, designated places to defecate and/or urinate...?


Jeroen also recently asked this question (we're all wondering about). My answer is here: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-mis...ne-applications#1511

In short, I believe the difference is: mobility. Mobile phones are mobile, most toilets aren't. It probably also has a lot to do with marketing, and that we still haven't found the "hot button" to the repitillian brain when it comes to toilet marketing (the Japanese have done so, btw, with their washlets).
Juergen Eichholz
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Re: Gates Foundation launches several rounds of reinvent the toilet challenge (RTTC) 09 Oct 2012 12:04 #2426

  • nbfaso
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FYI - BBC article discussing the 'reinvent the toilet challenge', including brief discussions of the recent prize winners (the solar powered toilet - which I see is generating some discussion here):

www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19873478

regards

Neil
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Re: Gates Foundation launches several rounds of reinvent the toilet challenge (RTTC) 30 Nov 2012 00:18 #2753

  • arno
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To see the list of projects that were exhibited at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair in Seattle at the Gates Foundation (which I also attended) please take a look at the programme brochure which is now available in the SuSanA library here:
www.susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbk...p;type=2&id=1636

In addition on the same page is a collection of excellent fact sheets showing how the specific sanitation solution fits the criteria stipulated in the grantee programme. Both files can be downloaded from the link above.

--Arno Rosemarin/SEI
Arno Rosemarin PhD
Stockholm Environment Institute
Linnegatan 87D, Box 24218
10451 Stockholm, Sweden
arno.rosemarin@sei-international.org
Last Edit: 30 Nov 2012 10:26 by muench.
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RTTC Features in Switzerland​​’s leading Newspaper “NZZ” 02 Dec 2011 16:11 #2860

  • luethich
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The Re-invent the Toilet Challenge was featured in a 1-page article in NZZ (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) – only in German!

Here is the link:

www.nzz.ch/nachrichten/hintergrund/wisse...erer_1.13461638.html

C. Luthi, Eawag-Sandec


++++++++
Note by moderator (EvM): this thread is now closed. A follow-on discussion is in this thread: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/139-in...-cant-build-a-toilet
> Research focus: the validation of multi-stakeholder planning and programming approaches and the development of planning tools for urban infrastructure in unserved areas. My specific research interests are urban strategic sanitation planning, servicing unplanned urban and peri-urban areas, and multi-stakeholder planning and programming.
Last Edit: 23 Mar 2014 19:19 by muench.
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