Gates bidding to reinvent toilet
A foundation backed by Microsoft mogul Bill Gates has unveiled plans to revolutionise the use of toilets for up to 2.5 billion people around the world, according to reports.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched a competition to reinvent the toilet for people who do not have access to modern sanitation in developing countries worldwide.
The competition has attracted interest from experts around the globe, with entries including the use of microwave energy to turn human faeces into electricity and another claiming to transform excrement into charcoal.
Entrants, which included a team from London, are competing for financial assistance.
Inventors must follow a range of guidelines to pass the foundation's criteria, which require the toilets to operate without running water, electricity or a septic system, utilise green energy, use zero pollutants, and cost less than five cents (3p) to run on a daily basis.
The foundation expects to field test the best ideas within three years, after the United Nations revealed that around 1.5 million children die each year from sanitary diseases.
Copyright Press Association 2012
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