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For more than two years now, Kohler has been collaborating with Caltech in the development of a photovoltaic toilet (that’s a solar powered, self disinfecting, waterless toilet) as part of the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In response to this successful project, the Gates Foundation recently approved a two-year grant to Kohler to further design and produce five sustainable closed-loop flush toilet systems for field testing in various developing world locations lacking adequate sanitation. This new grant recognises Kohler’s dedication to improving global sanitation conditions and supports continued research and innovation of its toilet system.

“Our goal of creating a completely off-the-grid toileting system that is easier to transport and easier to maintain will allow us to place toilets in more locations around the world that have inadequate sanitation. And that allows us to improve the lives of more people,” said Rob Zimmerman, sustainability manager for Kohler Co.

The prototype unit is currently being field-trialled in India. Kohler will use the findings from this field study to further improve the new toilet system with the goal of making it a more cost effective and transportable unit. The toilet system includes a self-contained water purification and disinfection system that allows water to be reused Рnot requiring waste-water disposal.

“Kohler has a long standing commitment to environmental and community enhancement,” Zimmerman said. “We feel privileged to be able to use our position as a leader in the plumbing industry and utilising our talented engineers to help innovate new solutions to sanitation issues.”

Other Reinvent the Toilet Challenge blog posts:

Kohler donates toilets for artists to transform in support of World Toilet Day

Kohler’s commitment to delivering safe, sustainable sanitation

Kohler exhibits Reinvent the Toilet prototype at MOMA

Solar powered toilet heads to India’s Toilet Fair

Kohler assists with global “Reinvent the Toilet” challenge

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