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Cheers, Bill Gates. Who wouldn't want drinking water made from POO?

Turd transmutation device also makes 'leccy and ash

By Alexander J Martin, 13 Aug 2015

William Henry “Bill” Gates III – Harvard drop-out, Microsoft founder, and second richest man in the world – has revealed that his latest invention will burn your rubbish as well as turning your turds into fresh drinking water.

Omni Processor in Senegal

Gates, who remains a technology advisor at the Windows factory, wrote about his poo-changing machine, which is part of his efforts to mitigate the difficulties faced by the world's poorest inhabitants.

The Janicki Omni Processor (JOP), which produced the juice, is one of several processors being developed on Gates' dime to turn human waste into something of value, in this case, drinking water, electricity, and ash.

Applauding his partners, Janicki Bioenergy, Gates now thinks the biggest engineering challenges have been solved, and the "next version of the machine will burn most types of garbage in addition to human waste, and it will be easier to maintain".

The trial run of the JOP in Dakar, Senegal, will see the real-world variables of personnel, government, and public reaction, tested in the field.

Gates notes that while "it's tempting to focus on the drinking water, for obvious reasons ... the goal is not to provide water" [but instead] to dramatically improve sanitation for all the cities in poor countries".

The committed philanthropist noted that more than two billion humans are using unsuitable latrines in the world today and states that "diseases caused by poor sanitation kill some 700,000 children every year", adding that:

Unfortunately, rich-world solutions aren't feasible in poor countries – they require too much expensive infrastructure.

We put together this slideshow so you can see how the system works in Dakar today and how the JOP fits in.

The idea behind every Omni Processor design is to solve this problem by making sanitation affordable for the poor.

Market failure

Gates estimates the largest issue affecting the rollout of effective technological solutions to poor countries' issues is that those who understood the technology were too insulated from those problems.

"The people who understood the technology weren’t getting sick or dying from contaminated water, and they didn’t know anyone who was. Nor was it clear how they could make a profit by working on the problem. It was a classic market failure," wrote Gates.

Now we have a business plan, an impassioned team of engineers, great in-country partners, and a pilot project in motion. I think we have a real shot at solving the sanitation problem.

"This is a great example of what can happen when we get bright people focused on the world’s biggest problems," added Gates.

Not everybody has been salivating at the thought of drinking this expensive brew, however.

Perhaps a reappraisal of priorities is due. ®

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