Thursday, 27 March 2014

Nano Membrane Toilet at Reinvent the Toilet Fair, Delhi

Our team really enjoyed our time at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair in Delhi.   We were really inspired by what the other teams had achieved and really happy to receive the feedback all of the Fair attendees.   Here are some of the highlights (thanks to Ben for the photos):

We were really pleased that everything arrived OK and the stall looked fantastic.
We attracted a lot of visitors.
Including Secretary Vijay Raghvan from the Government of India's Department of Biotechnology.
And the Ambassador to India from Burkina Faso who wanted to try everything!   He held the voltage record for the bike generator, but he did ride in the Atlanta Olympics!

We were also really pleased to help put together two videos for SuSanA.   The first is Alison explaining the toilet to Elisabeth:

The second is a tour of our stand:

We were also really pleased to feature in the Hindustan Times.

If you want copies of any of the posters on our stand these can be downloaded here, and a copy of the business model brochure is available here.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Video Launch

Our new video which explains the Nano Membrane toilet is launched in time for the Reinvent the Toilet Fair in Delhi.

Monday, 17 March 2014

House of potential target users

Whilst in Kumasi, Ghana, our research team visited the house of an elderly gentleman to gain insight in the potential target users.
This photo was a key image in the project because although this man has a very high standard of living with modern conveniences like TV, Stereo, DVD player, he does not have a toilet in his house.
As 2.5 billion people lack adequate sanitation, there is bound to be a spectrum of wealth.
This was confirmed by the team's guide who is a Kumasi resident as well as having many years working in the Sanitation:

"many of such residents will normally have all the amenities you can think of (I.e TVs, fridges, mobile  phones and satellite decoders) but will not have toilets at home"

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The Nano Membrane Toilet goes to India

We're pleased to finally be able to announce that the Nano Membrane Toilet will be exhibited at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair in India next week.   We've been busy preparing for the Fair for the last 6 months (see photos below) and are really looking forward to sharing our prototypes, research findings and business ideas with the other Reinvent the Toilet teams and exploring potential collaborations.

We believe the modular and scalable design of our toilet allows it to interface with the technologies other Reinvent the Toilet teams have developed.   Specifically:
  • The membranes allow human waste to be dewatered so that thermal processing is viable.
  • The flush provides a visual and odour barrier without adding any more water to the waste.
  • The human power generator can provide energy to any system.
We're also looking forward to receiving feedback from other experts in sanitation who will be attending the Fair and meeting with Indian stakeholders. 

From the Cranfield team in attendance will be Alison Parker, Ewan McAdam, Ben Martin, Leon Williams, Ross Tierney, Sean  Tyrrel and Athanasios Kolios.

Here's some of our journey to the Fair so far:

  This is the works-like prototype being carefully packed into its crate.
Here are the crates being loaded onto the lorry for the first stage of their journey by sea to India.

This is our vision of how our stall will look.

Keep your eye on this blog next week for our updates from the Fair!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Flush mechanism test rig

The design team have been developing a method of moving the waste from the bowl to the holding tank whilst preventing bad odour. To see the early stages of this please see the earlier blog post: 'How do you Flush without a Flush?'
The stringent requirements of the development were:

  1. No additional water can be used
  2. No additional power can be used
  3. The action has to be in keeping with the user’s normal behaviour 
  4. A constant barrier must be maintained between the holding tank and bowl

Below is the latest test model allowing the team to experiment and develop the idea further. Areas of interest will be dimensions, gear ratios and refining the mechanism but with considerable focus on research into utilising non-stick materials.

The mechanism is driven by the user closing the lid after they have finished.
(...Its a joke shop 'specimen' by the way)

The rotating action empties the waste into the holding tank maintaining a constant odour barrier and the flexible polymer swipe removes any final remnants.

The driving action is closing the lid. this is a 90' rotation that is geared be converted into a 270' rotation of the cup before stopping and then the swipe does a 180' rotation.