Energy-Generating Solar-Powered Toilet

The California Institute of Technology has been awarded $100,000 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for a solar-powered toilet that recycles water and produces energy. A primary focus of the Gates Foundation and their Reinvent The Toilet Challenge is sanitation in Third World countries.

The solar toilet stall uses a large panel to generate power for an electrochemical reactor that breaks down feces and urine into hydrogen gas. The gas can then be stored in fuel cells that provide back-up electricity for low light weather conditions or at night. Recovered water, which become sanitized through operation of the toilet, is used to flush.