Bill Gates At The Global Alliance for Vaccines And Immunisation (GAVI) Conference
Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates attends a news conference at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) conference in London June 13, 2011. Reuters/Paul Hackett

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates drank on Wednesday water from a machine that converts the faeces into electricity, water and ash. He compared the water to as delicious as that from a bottled one.

The machine responsible for the conversion is called the Janicki Omniprocessor. The Gates Foundation is supporting the production of the machine, invented by Peter Janicki, the CEO of Janicki Bioenergy, to improve sanitation in poor nation where toilet facilities are not available or poorly designed.

In those countries, latrines are usually not proper drained which contaminates groundwater, causing the death of 700,000 young people annually, Gates blogged.

The process, according to Mashable, involves drying first the waste and then burning it, which creates steam that in turn powers the engine which generates electricity. Before Gates drank the water, it was first filtered.


The Janicki machine where the philanthropist drank water is still on a pilot phase and located in Senegal. Once successful, the machine would be produced in commercial quantity and spread in developing countries, which would change the energy source of sewage treatment plants from diesel or other forms of non-renewable energy sources, to the very waste that it treats.

Janicki is redesigning the processor to handle waste from 100,000 people and produce 86,000 litres of potable water and generate a net of 250 kilowatts of electricity.

The processor is projected to cost less than introducing and installing western toilets in poor nations.

Prior to the Janicki machine, the man behind the Windows OS also pushed in 2011 for the redesign of the toilet to convert the waste into fuel or fertiliser.

After Gates quenched his thirst, he concluded, "After having studied the engineering behind it, I would happily drink it every day. It's that safe."

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