A new toilet innovation has been designed in the UK to provide an environment-friendly off-grid solution in many countries across the world. 

The LooWatt toilet features a closed-loop design that captures waste and seals it in a biodegradable polymer film; an airlock prevents odour or transmission of disease through leakage.

Poor sanitation is a serious problem in developing countries with disease and death rampant in these regions. WHO statistics reveal that over two million people die each year because they have no access to clean toilets.

The LooWatt innovation aims to address the current shortcomings in the delivery of sanitation solutions, especially in water-stressed regions of the world.

Funded by InnovateUK and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the LooWatt system offers a sustainable alternative to conventional off-grid toilets using chemical flushing or pit latrines.

LooWatt’s design aims to provide the user a hygienic experience that compares with a flush toilet. The waterless system will also reduce wastage of precious water, otherwise required for flushing away the waste.

Once the waste is safely collected and sealed in the biodegradable polymer film, it is taken to a specialised anaerobic digester to produce biogas, fertiliser and electricity.

LooWatt can be fitted to a standard toilet pedestal. However, a more compact model is currently under development.

There are about 800 LooWatt installations worldwide.

Image: LooWatt