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Hydrogen generating toilet gets $400k from Bill Gates
Production, Aug 02 2011 (The Hydrogen Journal)
- Michael Hoffmann of California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has received a $400k grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to build a toilet which generates hydrogen from solar power.
The grant was announced July 19 at the AfricaSan 3 sanitation and hygiene conference in Rwanda.
The toilet is designed to be used by up to 500 people per day.
It is one of 8 projects funded by the foundation's "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge" and part of over $40m investment from the fund in water, sanitation and hygiene.
The toilet uses a solar panel to make electricity, which runs a reactor which breaks down water and human waste to make hydrogen, which can then be used to provide electricity during night time or at times of low sunlight.
The toilet could also be designed to be self cleaning, powered by the electricity from the solar panels or fuel cells.
Mr Hoffmann believes that he could build a unit for $2,000 and further cost reductions are achievable with volume production.
Under the terms of the "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge", all grantees must present their prototypes in 12 months time and winning projects will receive additional funding.