Toilet waste to energy system


Toilet (Photo credit:

It may not be an appetizing thought when you’re putting the dinner on – but a new loo turns human waste into fuel. The ‘No Mix Vacuum Toilet’ is an airplane-style vacuum toilet which splits waste into solids and liquids. Liquid waste is processed for chemicals such as phosphorous for fertilizers. Solid waste is processed in a bioreactor to create ‘biogas’ – a methane-rich gas which is, the scientists promise, odorless and safe for cooking.

Canny scientists have invented a new toilet system that can turn human waste into electricity and fertilizers, and reduce water for flushing by up to 90 per cent. Coined the No-Mix Vacuum Toilet, the loo has two chambers that separate the liquid and solid wastes – and uses vacuum suction technology like airplane toilets. Solid waste will be sent to a bioreactor where it will be digested to release bio-gas which contains methane – an odorless gas used to replace natural gas used in stoves for cooking. Flushing liquids in the new toilet would only take only 0.2 liters of water and flushing solids requires one liter, compared to four to six liters in a conventional loo.

According to the inventors, if it is installed in a public restroom and flushed 100 times a day, it will save 160,000 liters in a year – enough to fill a small swimming pool. The No-Mix Vacuum Toilet will divert the liquid waste to a processing facility where components used for fertilizers such as nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium can be recovered.

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Broken screens be gone…

Broken iPhone 4 Back Glass

Corning has Willow Glass and G-leaf has Zero Glass but flexible glass is coming to a device near you. Having just tested the limits of Corning’s Gorilla glass to the failure point I am looking forward to the new and improved flexible glass for mobile devices. This has a lot more promise then just mobile devices though. One of the issues with solar cell delivery in developing countries is the amount of the devices that are delivered broken due to the harsh transport conditions.

The article also talks about Nipons new invisible glass. This glass is amazing when applied to outdoor environments on mobile devices. Dramatically improves the ability to read on backlit screens.

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Interactive world map of temperature, solar incidence, terrain, population and others.

English: Solar Radiation Map of Europe: Global...

Users of the SolarGIS global database will already be familiar with the solar planning database which GeoModel Solar says has been described by the University of Geneva as „the most accurate solar resource database available on the market“. In addition to featuring the SolarGIS global database at Intersolar Europe 2013, GeoModel Solar will also be unveiling two updated online tools to complement it: iMaps with global coverage and pvPlanner with global coverage. The SolarGIS global database supplies historical and near-real time information on solar resources souch as global horizontal irradiance, direct normal irradiance and DLR by delivering data from several meteorological and satellite data centers worldwide, providing radiation and PV yield information for developing, monitoring and forecasting pv yields from „almost any location worldwide“.,-148.535156

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3D printing scales up and integrating

3D printed blue treefrogs in different layer t...

The Economist has a good article on the current state of 3D printing at 3D printing scales up.

Having been privileged to have watched several technologies evolve from early stage clunkiness to significant economic and cultural impact this seems like something to watch. It’s still very early days for 3D printing.

Looking at 3D printing in the context of a supply chain, it seems like it might impact three areas:

  •      The labor invested in creating parts.
  •      The quantity of parts that need to be inventoried.
  •      The need to ship parts from one place to another.

This view does not address some of the other impacts that 3D printing may have such as the ability to create parts that are difficult any other way. With respect to the labor invested in creating parts, 3D printing is an automated manufacturing process like many other automated manufacturing processes (dedicated tooling, robots, etc.). It’s impact is really not very different than those. That being said increased automation reduces the cost of part manufacture by both reducing the quantity of required labor and the skills required. This in turn may have the impact of reducing wages involved in part manufacture due to the reduction in skills required. The demand on this labor pool may go up if the number of locations goes up as mentioned below.

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Aadhaar-linked accounts to be basis for mobile payments

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I do find it interesting that everyone in the development community is focused on mobile payments and yet the attachment of a higher level of verification using biometrics and a randomly generated 12 digit number and it is a target at every turn.

Over 30 million linked accounts to start DBT payments in most countries would be considered a resounding success. M-Pesa still only has 17 million accounts and a very very low level of security but is considered the gold standard for mobile payments. Praveen Chakravarty, chief executive, Anand Rathi Financial Services, says, the application sounds great conceptually and is in line with the government’s current thrust on financial inclusion. “Of the 600,000 villages in the country, banks are present in only 40,000.”

Now, Aadhaar-linked accounts to be basis for mobile payments | Business Standard.

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Small business lending key to 6.5m new jobs in region each year

IFC members

Considered the lifeblood of most economies, SMEs account for nearly 90 per cent of companies in the UAE and provide about 85 per cent of private-sector employment. The growing youth population means 270 million jobs are needed in the Mena region by 2050, estimates the IFC. To meet the target, 6.5 million jobs need to be created every year until 2050, while the region’s GDP has to grow at an average of 7 per cent every year, said Jean Pierre Lacombe, the chief of global markets and financial engineering at IFC.

Small business lending key to 6.5m new jobs in region each year – The National.

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