Monday, 27 October 2014

Kickstarting collaboration

The key to success in the next phase of the project is collaboration with other grantees who have already solved some of the tricky problems and who have invaluable expertise.   Last week we kick-started these collaborations with a series of visits and discussions.

Firstly Athanasios traveled to visit RTI International in San Francisco.   He's arranged for one of their gasifiers to be shipped to us to test and incorporate into our toilet.   Watch this space for its arrival!

Secondly,  Jeremiah Deal and Heather Deal from Three Bird Swan came to help is with some of our components like the pelletiser which will produce dry pellets form the dewatered sludge to go into the gasifier.   They also gave us some ideas on our whole system integration.

Leon, Ewan, Jeremiah, Ross and Jake discuss the system

Thirdly, Chris Buckley and Tina Velkushanova from the University of Kwa Zulu Natal came to share their experience of using an Archimedes screws to transport faecal sludge, as well as make some suggestions of how to make sure the flush provides a total odour barrier.

Peter, Chris and Tina examine the works-like prototype which will be used for the initial screw testing.
Chris, Ross and Tina consider how the bowl design will affect smearing.

Finally, Colleen Archer from UKZN came to give a talk about how the Ascaris egg can be used as a marker organism to detect if faeces is safe for reuse.   She also shared some fascinating stories about sanitation in her home town of Durban.

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