Doing the business
3 September 2018
Why does Scion have an experimental toilet in a tent?
There are 2.5 billion people worldwide who do not have access to safe and affordable sanitation. Scion is part of an international challenge working on ways to treat human waste for the places around the world where the toilet, as we know it, is not an option.
The tech behind Scion’s experimental toilet is wet oxidation, which uses high pressure, temperature and oxygen to break down, or ‘pressure cook’ biosolids into simpler organic compounds, releasing energy and chemicals.
The second phase, in development right now, is looking at reducing the nutrient content of the effluent so it can be directly discharged.
Clean tech engineer Rob Whitton, frontman in a new video about the work to date, says, “We’re re-thinking the entire toilet and waste water treatment process, so that it doesn’t rely on a complicated system of infrastructure. We want to create a toilet that removes pathogens from human waste, functions without connections to water, sewer, or electricity, costs less than five cents (US) to use per person a day, and recovers valuable resources such as clean water and energy.”