A number of innovative projects have set out to capture the valuable nutrients available in human faeces and make a profit from poo
Sanergy collects the waste and converts it into nutrient-rich organic fertiliser which is then sold on to Kenyan farmers. To date, Sanergy has launched 555 toilets to a network of 270 Fresh Life operators serving 25,000 people a day while safely removing more than seven tonnes of waste from communities daily.
Like Sanergy, UK-based Loowatt has also developed a hygienic waterless toilet system, although this one also generates energy. The odourless Loowatt toilet uses a sealing mechanism to wrap human waste in a biodegradable liner which is pulled through the sealer when the toilet is flushed. The “cartridge” is then emptied periodically into an anaerobic digester, where the waste and biodegradable liners are converted into biogas and fertiliser.
Since 2012, Loowatt has been rolling out its sanitation system at its pilot project in Antananarivo, Madagascar. There, a public toilet is linked to a micro-scale digester which provides energy onsite, although as the project expands the toilets will be linked to larger digesters operated by the local government or private operators. Using this model, the Loowatt team is working on toilet solutions for disaster relief.