Cranfield Nano Membrane Toilet
The Nano Membrane Toilet is a dry-toilet that treats waste on-site without water or energy.
Cranfield Univeristy’s Nano Membrane Toilet treats waste without water or electricity, producing recycled water for household use along with energy and ash. The system uses the membrane to separate water from the waste, and gasifies solids. The energy produced will be used to sustain the membrane process, and any extra energy could be used by user to charge electronic devices.
The capital cost is expected to be $750.
There are no alternative toilets that also use a nano-membrane.
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
Urban households in Ghana
The toilet structure is made entirely of composite material and can therefore be manufactured entirely using a 3-D printer and a laser cutter.
The proposed user provision model is for toilets to be rented by households.
No distributions to date; the product is still in its testing phase.
The toilet rotates the solid and liquid waste mixture to empty it from the toilet, and then sedimentation separates solids from the mixture. Pathogens and odors are removed as water is transported through the membrane walls in the vapor state, and then recycled for household use. The partly-dry solids are then transported via mechanical screw to a gasifier, which converts the waste to ash and energy. The energy produced continues to power the membrane process, and extra energy can be used to charge devices.
Support is proposed to be provided every six months by a franchised maintenance company.
The technicians would replace the membrane cartridge, bead cartridge, and the polymer.
Designer specified performance targets include the daily operation cost being $0.05/user/day, the energy recovered being 90kW/user/day, and the water recovered being 1.5L/user/day.
If a user were to break the toilet and release the hydrophobic beads, it would be important to immediately remove the spilled beads to prevent a choking hazard for children.
Parker, Alison. 2014. Membrane technology plays key role in waterless hygienic toilet. Membrane Technology.
Perez Lopez, Eloy. 2014. Design and testing of a novel human-powered generator device as a backup solution to power Cranfield’s Nano-membrane Toilet. Cranfield University.
Lieu Le, Ngoc and Nunes, Suzana P. 2016. Materials and membrane technologies for water and energy sustainability. Sustainable Materials and Technologies.
Hanak, Dawid P. et al. 2016. Conceptual energy and water recovery system for self-sustained nano membrane toilet. Energy Conversion and Management.
Kolios, Athanasios et al. 2018. Probabilistic performance assessment of complex energy process systems – The case of a self-sustained sanitation system. Energy Conversion and Management.
The manufacturer cites evaluation criteria based on the amount of energy they can produce in specific environments, the environmental impact they have, and how effective they are at killing pathogens.
Cranfield University produced a video to explain how their toilet works.
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