Delft University of Technology is working to Reinvent the Toilet
Upgrading human waste
Since 2011 TU Delft has been a participant in the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We propose a community-based sanitation system that processes water on-site and upgrades urine and feces to energy at an omni-gasification plant. Human waste is dried, converted to syngas and fed into a fuel cell. The gasification process instantly destroys pathogens and generates enough energy to power the system, creating a sustainable cycle.
Other focal areas in our project are the design of a water diverting toilet and a Community Sanitation Centre, as well as the recognition of women empowerment, branding and sustainable business modeling.
The project is carried out by two teams: Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) and the Process & Energy department of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering (3mE). Watch the video below to hear their stories. If you are interested in more information on our research and results you can visit IDE’s page for additional info on the human centered design approach and business model, or go to the 3mE’s page for more specific information about the technological steps required to upgrade waste to electric power at the processing plant.