Bill Gates unveils futuristic toilet that turns human waste to fertilizer

Bill Gates points at a jar containing human feces as he makes a point about the dangers of primitive sanitation

Bill Gates points at a jar containing human feces as he makes a point about the dangers of primitive sanitation

He said that small amount of faeces could contain 200 trillion rotavirus cells, 20 billion shigella bacteria, and 100,000 parasitic worm eggs.

U.S. billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates unveiled on Tuesday in Beijing a futuristic toilet that doesn't need water or sewers and uses chemicals to turn human waste into fertiliser.

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, on Tuesday, unveiled a futuristic toilet that uses chemicals to turn human waste into fertilizer.

The expo, co-hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the China Chamber of International Commerce, is being held from November 6 to 8 in Beijing and is focusing on how innovations in sanitation can transform lives for the better.

Gates noted that the production of these toilets is in its initial phase, and that it will be at least a decade before reinvented toilets reach the masses in the poorest areas. There are multiple designs but all work by separating liquid and solid waste.

It is the first time Gates" foundation has addressed an event in China, where President Xi Jinping is promoting a three-year "toilet revolution' to build or upgrade 64,000 public toilets by 2020 to help boost tourism and economic growth.

"The technologies you'll see here are the most significant advances in sanitation in almost 200 years", he said, according to a text of his prepared remarks.

"It's no longer a question of if we can reinvent the toilet and other sanitation systems", he said.

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"China has an opportunity to launch a new category of innovated non-sewered sanitation solutions that will benefit millions of people worldwide".

The billionaire said more than half of the world's population suffers without clean, comfortable sanitation facilities.

He said the foundation's partners had developed a self-powered technology that takes in human waste, kills risky pathogens and converts the resulting materials into products with potential commercial value - like clean water, electricity and fertiliser.

That 500,000 figure is the number of children who die annually because of water contaminated with human waste that hasn't been processed properly.

The Gates Foundation hopes to instal reinvented toilets in schools and apartment buildings until they become cheap enough for individual families to afford.

The world's two largest economies have been engaged in a tit-for-tat trade war over tariffs for much of the year.

Gates said it would be a mistake for the United States to cut aid.

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