Loowatt is a London-based start-up that develops waterless toilet technologies. Loowatt technology is suitable for rapid deployment, and is particularly well adapted to urban populations and flood areas where traditional latrine solutions often become unsafe, unsustainable, and undesirable. Their HIF-funded project is looking at piloting these toilets in the humanitarian relief sector, with a conscious focus on providing hygienic technology through collaborative implementation strategies. Loowatt technology also offers the potential to incorporate on-site energy generation into waste processing systems.
Access to safe sanitation saves lives and improves livelihoods by addressing a wide range of human needs. Loowatt has been piloting their waterless sanitation system, including household toilets with energy-generating waste treatment solutions, in Antananarivo, Madagascar, since 2012.
The core technology of Loowatt systems uses biodegradable polymer film combined with a unique sealing technology in the toilet, and offsite waste treatment through anaerobic digestion, to produce energy and fertilizer. This is a flexible technology that is currently being built into toilets for events and festivals in the UK, and for urban areas that lack sanitation. Various system components can be locally constructed.
This project looks at how best to implement Loowatt systems in emergencies. By the end of the project we will have produced a thorough implementation plan including preferred partners for piloting our toilet technology for this application in 2016.
Loowatt Ltd, a UK-based startup, is setting out on a journey to bring our sanitation solutions to people struggling in disaster situations. Sponsored through a grant from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF), we are preparing our technology for implementation in response efforts.View
In sanitation, Waste to Value (WTV) refers to systems that convert human waste into energy, fertilizer, and other byproducts. WTV systems for urban sanitation are now widely considered desirable in FSM (Fecal Sludge Management). Recent work and proceedings at EAWAG, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the 2015 FSM3 conference all point to the importance of WTV. However, in the humanitarian response sector, WTV for sanitation is often met with extreme responses—from denying its feasibility altogether in favour of installing latrines, to considering it a panacea that will solve all problems of cost and sustainability.View
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