March 14, 2014 - Most people probably don't think of recycling the things they flush down the toilet. Karl Linden, a professor of environmental engineering at the University of Colorado, thinks that doesn't have to be the case.
Thanks to a couple of mirrors and fiber-optic cables, Linden is turning feces and urine into biochar, a small black chunk of material that can be used like a charcoal briquette.
"It can be used for cooking," he told ABC News. "Or you can put it in the soil so that it better retains nutrients. There's a lot of agricultural benefits."
Though the toilet produces something useful, that aspect is secondary to Linden's bigger goal of creating a usable toilet for countries that lack access to power and sewer pipes. "A lot of the pit latrines fill up and then you get sanitation problems," he said. "We're looking to create a toilet that makes the waste safe to handle." read more>>>