The Nano Membrane Toilet

Treating human waste onsite without external energy or water.

Cranfield University is developing the Nano Membrane Toilet which will be able to treat human waste on-site without external energy or water. The toilet is designed for single-household use (equivalent to 10 people) and will accept urine and faeces as a mixture. The toilet is still under development; this is the vision of how it will work: The toilet flush uses a unique rotating mechanism to transport the mixture into the toilet without demanding water whilst simultaneously blocking odour and the user’s view of the waste.

Solids separation (faeces) is principally accomplished through sedimentation. Loosely bound water (mostly from urine) is separated using low glass transition temperature hollow-fibre membranes. The unique nanostructured membrane wall facilitates water transport in the vapour state rather than as a liquid state which yields high rejection of pathogens and some odorous volatile compounds. A novel nano-coated bead enables water vapour recovery through encouraging the formation of water droplets at the nanobead surface. Once the droplets form a critical size, the water drains into a collection vessel for reuse at the household level in washing or irrigation applications.

Following release of unbound water, the residual solids (around 20-25% solids) are transported by mechanical screw into a gasifier which will convert them into ash and energy. The energy will power the membrane processes, and there may be extra energy for charging mobile phones or other low voltage items.

The toilet will be rented by the households and maintenance will be undertaken with a trained operative responsible for the franchised area.


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Kickstarting collaboration

The key to success in the next phase of the project is collaboration with other grantees who have already solved some of the tricky problems and who have invaluable expertise.   Last week we kick-started these collaborations with ...

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Posted 27th October 2014

Join the team to develop the Nano Membrane Toilet

We currently have four positions open for post-doctoral researchers to join the team and help us develop the Nano Membrane Toilet.   Please click the links for full details of what the role will entail and what qualities we are lo...

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Posted 2nd October 2014

The Nano Membrane Toilet receives further funding

We are delighted to announce that the Nano Membrane Toilet has received further funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to continue the development of the toilet.   This next phase will take us to January 2016 when we w...

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Posted 18th September 2014

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