MICROSOFT founder Bill Gates has posed alongside a jar of human poo to showcase his re-invented toilet tech.
The billionaire tech mogul’s potty stunt took place at a three-day expo in China dedicate to new toilet technologies.
The Bill & Melinda Gates foundation has spent over $200million (£153million) on toilet sanitation research over the past seven years.
The end result is a “pathogen killing” toilet that can destroy germs on the spot.
To make his point, Gates brandished a jar filled with human faeces live on stage at the Reinvented Toilet expo.
“You might guess what’s in this beaker, and you’d be right. Human faeces,” the tech boff explained.
Gates continued: “This small amount of faeces could contain as many as 200trillion rotavirus cells, 20billion Shigella bacteria, and 100,000 parasitic worm eggs.
“I brought it out to draw attention to a serious issue that kills more than 500,000 people every year: poor sanitation.”
It’s not clear who the poo belonged to.
Gates’ clever toilet tech was shown off alongside 20 sanitation products designed to snuff out harmful bacteria.
The idea is to re-balance sanitation globally, focusing on helping countries who haven’t got advanced sanitation systems.
“In rich countries we have sewers that take clean water in, flush some of the dirty water out, in almost all cases there’s a treatment plant,” he told the BBC.
“As we have these newer cities with lots of less wealthy people in them, those sewers have not been built.
“And, in fact, it’s not likely they ever will be, so the question is: could you do it? Could you process human waste without that sewer system?”
One of the big challenges facing poorer countries is the price of fitting out their cities with costly and expansive sewer systems.
But Gates says his bacteria-busting toilet is a cheap alternative.
“You’re only going to pay hundreds of dollars for a toilet – if it’s really fantastic, maybe $500,” Gates said.
“You’re saving all the costs of the waters, the processing products.
“But we have to bring it down by almost a factor of 10 from what the models are like – but that’s not atypical for new product markets.”
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Gates’ toilet breaks down human waste and destroys germs.
This leaves behind clean water – as well as solid waste that can be used as fertiliser, or disposed of without additional treatment.
Owners will be able to use the toilet without connected it to a grid system or water pipes.
There’s also no requirement for electricity or a sewer system.
Some of Gates’ prototypes are powered by solar energy, or generate their own energy – and a toilet for 10 people could cost as little as $0.05 (around 4p) a day.
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