AIT unveils four innovative environment friendly sanitation products that “Reinvent the Toilet”

AIT unveils four innovative environment friendly sanitation products that “Reinvent the Toilet”
Announcing the official launch, AIT experts said these sanitation
products would help Thailand take the lead in improving the quality of
life in both Asia and Africa, where they will be implemented. AIT is
already implementing these technologies in both Thailand and Vietnam,
and it is in an advanced stage of negotiations for its
commercialization in India.Dr. Thammarat Koottatep, the Principal Investigator of the project
stated that all products are aimed at on-site cleaning which is aimed
at reducing transportation of sludge and fecal matter to treatment
plants. “The idea is to have an on-site treatment that is decentralized
so that we can avoid transportation of fecal matter over long
distances.”Dr. Doulay Kone, Deputy Director, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation stated that AIT was one of
the grant recipients from the Gates Foundation’s Water, Sanitation,
& Hygiene Team in 2011. “AIT has done an excellent job, and now
that the technology is ready, we are eagerly looking forward towards
its implementation in both Asia and Africa,” Dr. Kone said.

The four products include a Hydro-Cyclone cube which is a toilet that
uses gravity and the concept of a cyclone to separate liquid and solid
wastes. Disinfection is achieved by heating and the disinfected fecal
matter is used as a solid conditioner. A complete treatment of
blackwater results in a pathogen-free byproduct which is
reusable.

The Sanitizer Truck is an innovative truck which is equipped with a
solid-liquid separator and disinfection system. This decreases the cost
of transportation and treatment, and increases both fecal sludge
management efficiency and provides revenue generation options through
sludge recycling.

The “Cess to Fit” system is a retro-fitting system which can be fitted
into existing cesspool systems to hold and treat fecal matters before
discharging them into the environment.

The Solar Septic System uses solar energy to increase the rate of
killing of pathogens, increases biodegradation of organic matters, and
produces better quality of septic tank effluents, leading to better
environmental protection and public health benefits. The accumulated
solid is reduced by 50 per cent compared to conventional septic tanks.

Addressing a press conference in Bangkok, Dr. Thammarat said that
these products will help establish Thailand as a leader in water and
sanitation technologies in the entire ASEAN region and beyond. “We have
already ordered for the manufacture of these products for our clients
in Vietnam, and we are talking to parties in India who wish to use them
in their Clean India Campaign.”

He added that although Thailand is a leader in sanitation coverage,
the figures for fecal sludge treatment are alarming. In Thailand,
60,000 tons of fecal sludge is collected per day, but only 4,500 tons
per day (i.e., less than 10%) are treated correctly. “All these
products are aimed at rectifying this situation by focusing on on-site
treatment,” Dr. Thammarat added.

The press conference and discussion was moderated by well-known Thai
TV star  Suthipongse Thatphithakkul, who interspersed scientific
information about the four products with anecdotes and his trademark
witticism.

Welcoming the delegates, Dr. Subin Pinkayan, Chairman, AIT Board of
Trustees thanked the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and
complimented AIT’s research team for its success. “Apart from
undertaking research for academic purposes, I envisage that
Research-to-Business route adopted in this project would pave the way
towards providing sustainable benefits to both the institute and the
society,” Dr. Subin added.

AIT President Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukuchai stated that in 2012, AIT had
delightfully accepted a challenge mooted by the Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation to “Reinvent the toilet,” which was aimed at proper
treatment of toilet wastes at affordable costs to the urban poor.
“Courtesy of over five decades of expertise and experience in
Environmental Engineering at AIT, we were extremely confident that we
would overcome this challenge. Today, four years later, we are happy to
announce the launch of four sanitation products that are ready for
commercialization,” Prof. Worsak said.

Earlier, this project was formally kicked-off at a function organized
on 24 September 2012 in Bangkok. The Environmental Engineering and
Management field of study at AIT’s School of Environment, Resources and
Development is the new project holder for the field research project on
"Sustainable Decentralized Wastewater Management Systems" lasting from
2012–2017. Close to 50 researchers and experts hailing from Southeast
Asia, South Asia, Europe, Africa and South America are actively engaged
in this project.

Details about Naturally Acceptable and Technological Sustainable
(NATS) Toilet are available at this link
http://natstoilet.com/

A photogallery from the event is available at these links:
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