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The nano membrane toilet – Treating human waste onsite

The Nano Membrane Toilet is designed for single-household use. The toilet aims to treat human waste in the home without external energy or water. The flush uses a unique rotating mechanism to transport the mixture into the toilet without demanding water whilst blocking odour and the user’s view of waste. It is sponsored by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Cranfield University is developing the Nano Membrane Toilet, designed for single-household use (equivalent to ten people). The toilet is designed to accept urine and faeces as a mixture. The toilet flush uses a unique rotating mechanism to transport the mixture into the toilet without demanding water whilst simultaneously blocking odour and the user’s view of the waste.   This event will explain the success that can be achieved when multi-disciplinary teams work together to produce a new product.

About the speaker

Dr Alison Parker completed a four year Masters degree at the University of Oxford in Earth Sciences. This was followed by a PhD at the University of Leeds studying the hydrogeology of the Chalk aquifer of East Yorkshire. Alison started as a Research Fellow at Cranfield University in January 2009 and was promoted to Academic Fellow in October 2010 and to Lecturer in May 2013.

Alison Parker currently has a large research activity in technologies for urban sanitation. She is leading Cranfield University’s response to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s challenge to “Reinvent the Toilet”, using novel membrane technology to treat human waste on-site. She is also involved in developing and testing technologies to treat faecal sludge from pit latrines and container toilets including anaerobic digestion and pyrolysis. This involves characterising the waste and optimising its reuse. She is working at both ends of the technology development process – helping to develop a novel technology for EPSRC and in testing “off the shelf” systems for WSUP.

Supporting stakeholders to provide safe water supplies is another research focus through Alison’s work in WASHTech project, a European project aiming to help African decision makers decide which water and sanitation technologies to use in their projects and Community Water Plus, an AusAID funded project aiming to understand what support communities in India need to manage their water supplies. She also has research students working on Water Safety Plans in Malaysia, Nigeria, Jamaica, India and Uganda and on the transition of urban communities between informal supplies and piped systems in Kenya. She is the Course Tutor of the MSc in Community Water and Sanitation.


Cranfield University


Nano-membrane toilet



12:00 to 13:45 – lunch.
14:00 to 14:45/15:00 – lecture
14:45/15:00 to 15:30 approximately – questions and discussion

Additional information

Delegates will have the opportunity to pre book a lunch at Savoy Place.  The cost for a two course meal with wine is £16.  It is ESSENTIAL to pre book lunch.
Registration information.

Those wishing to attend are asked to send an e-mail by the preceding Monday, giving name(s), and requesting attendance at the lunch and lecture or just the lecture, and in the case of lunch, giving any dietary restrictions.

The e-mail should be sent to both johnfuller500@yahoo.com and tonydavies@ieee.org (please note the triple ‘e’ in the Tony’s address) with the subject line [The nano membrane toilet – Treating human waste onsite. Friday 31 June 2017 Friday Lunch and Lecture].

No acknowledgement will be sent unless specifically requested.

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