Cranfield University is developing the Nano Membrane Toilet, designed for single-household use (equivalent to 10 people). The toilet is designed to accept urine and faeces as a mixture. 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 which drops them into into a coating chamber lined with a replaceable bag. Once inside the coating chamber, the solid matrix is periodically coated with a biodegradable nano-polymer. The nanopolymer coating serves to block odour and acts as a barrier to pathogen transport. The toilet will be powered using a modular hand crank or bicycle power generator supplied for household use that can also power other low voltage items (e.g. mobile phones).
The replaceable bag comprising the coated solids is periodically collected for transport to a locally sited small scale gasifier sized to accommodate around 40 toilets. Both toilet maintenance and solids collection will be undertaken with a trained operative responsible for the franchised area.
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The Nano Menbrane toilet will be on the the technologies featuring in the next expert webinar hosted by SEI on Tuesday 26 Nov at 16:30 CET, alongside:New concepts for on-site sanitation based on bio-additives and pit design (London School o...Read more
Posted 19th November 2013
So, as promised, our works-like prototype is now in our lab being tested with simulated faeces.You can see the simulated faeces settling out and the dewatering screw moving the sludge towards the mister (far right): The membranes are in pla...Read more
Posted 18th November 2013
We're really excited that our works-like prototype is nearly ready for testing. It's been built locally by Model Products who've helped us work through the integration of the components. It will comprise the membrane...Read more
Posted 24th October 2013
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