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Singapore Scientists Invent Remarkable Toilet

It uses 90% less water and turns your, ahem, No. 2 into electricity
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2012 12:40 PM CDT
Updated Jul 1, 2012 2:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Imagine if every time you went the bathroom you did a little good for the planet. That green dream could soon be entirely possible, thanks to a new invention out of Singapore: a toilet system that transforms human droppings into electricity and fertilizer and uses 90% less water per flush along the way. The "No-Mix Vacuum Toilet" relies on vacuum suction technology (like on an airplane) that allows it to use just 6.7 ounces of water to drain the toilet of pee; disposing of No. 2 takes about a quart, reports ScienceDaily.

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The toilet's two chambers help enable its other feats: Liquid waste is separated and transported to a facility equipped to process its nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium—all fertilizer ingredients. Solid excrement is piped to a bioreactor where the methane inside is released; it can then be converted to electricity or slightly less appetizingly used to replace natural gas in cooking stoves. The goal, says the head of the project, is to covert all waste into resources. The toilet is about to be tested in two bathrooms at the university where it was invented; it could be ready for a larger audience in three years. (Read more Singapore stories.)

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