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Self-Contained, PV-Powered Wastewater Treatment System

Caltech's solar-powered toilet has won the Reinventing the Toilet Challenge issued by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The challenge is part of a $40 million program initiated by the Gates Foundation to tackle the problems of water, sanitation, and hygiene throughout the developing world. Caltech's toilet uses the sun to power an electrochemical reactor. The reactor breaks down water and human waste into fertilizer and hydrogen, which can be stored in hydrogen fuel cells as energy. The treated water can then be reused to flush the toilet or for irrigation.