The toilet that most of the western world makes use of is not affordable for about 40 percent of the people on this planet. Innovative ideas are now being thought of to solve this problem in an attempt to win a cash prize that is being offered by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
There are 2.6 billion people on this planet who will benefit from anything that the brightest designers and scientists can offer in terms of a solution. It is pretty challenging because the toilet innovation would be so that it did not need piped water or a sewer. Furthermore, this new toilet should also not depend on electrical connections and be able to dispose of the waste in a useful manner.
It may look pretty perplexing, but a Caltech team was actually able to come up with a toilet that produced electricity and hydrogen too. A lot of the teams at the fair had similar ideas but with varying design. For instance, capturing the urine and using it for flushing was one such idea for renewable energy if you will.
The toilet should be able to function with a cost of five cents a day and I am sure many in the Western world are wondering if this toilet innovation could be brought here due to the inflation and high living expenses that we face. But right now, the toilet innovation is vital in the developing world to stop the spread of disease and improve hygiene.
I can see that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation seems to know what it is doing as it attempts to reduce poverty and help improve the Third World.