Using the bathroom is one thing that unites all of humanity, from the royal to the homeless, though it may be a topic that is considered impolite to discuss in certain company. But toilets are technology that is encountered daily and though they haven’t changed much during the past decades, designers and innovators are constantly experimenting and redesigning the toilet. This is a huge topic in third world countries especially; basic sanitation continues to be an urgent public health issue in these places.
The End of Toilet Paper?
The bidet may have been around for a few decades, but the technology behind them is soaring. Newer models allow washing from behind and in front and will give temperature, pressure and direction control. Upgrade for automatic driers, warm seats, motion sensors to raise the lid, night lights and deodorizing spritzers. Some can even clean themselves and play music. “Paper just distributes the problem,” said Lenora Campos, spokeswoman for Toto USA. Toto, the Japanese company that pioneered the modern electronic toilet seat, has sold millions of them globally. “We wash most things with water and wouldn’t dream of wiping a dish or anything else with a piece of paper and calling it clean. So why should personal hygiene be any different?” Bidets are most popular in Asia but standard versions are becoming standard in much of the Middle East and South America, where cleaning off with water has been long preferred to paper. They are becoming more popular in Europe, as well.
Turning Human Waste into Fuel
Researchers at Caltech developed a solar-powered waste-treatment system that turns human waste into fuel. The unit is powered by the sun and it produces hydrogen, water and electricity, and the water produced can by used to flush the toilet again. This toilet works by allowing waste to flow into a holding tank that starts a bacterial digestion process. Then, the waste flows into a a 40-liter electro-chemical reactor that uses electrodes to convert it into hydrogen gas. From there, the hydrogen can be used in fuel cells.
The Folding Toilet
While studying Product Design at The University of Huddersfield in England, Gareth Humphreys and Elliott Whiteley designed the Iota folding toilet. Their toilet folds itself up to flush and stays folded when not in use, conserving water and space. Clearly, toilet technology remains an important area of research for very practical public health reasons. If you’re looking to update your bathroom, call ABC Plumbing & Rooter at (480) 726-1600 today!
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