"The project is called the Omniprocessor, and it was designed and built by Janicki Bioenergy, an engineering firm based north of Seattle. I recently went to Janicki’s headquarters to check out an Omniprocessor before the start of a pilot project in Senegal.

The Omniprocessor is a safe repository for human waste. Today, in many places without modern sewage systems, truckers take the waste from latrines and dump it into the nearest river or the ocean—or at a treatment facility that doesn’t actually treat the sewage. Either way, it often ends up in the water supply. If they took it to the Omniprocessor instead, it would be burned safely. The machine runs at such a high temperature (1000 degrees Celsius) that there’s no nasty smell; in fact it meets all the emissions standards set by the U.S. government.

Before we even started the tour, I had a question: Don’t modern sewage plants already incinerate waste? I learned that some just turn the waste into solids that are stored in the desert. Others burn it using diesel or some other fuel that they buy. That means they use a lot of energy, which makes them impractical in most poor countries.

The Omniprocessor solves that problem. Through the ingenious use of a steam engine, it produces more than enough energy to burn the next batch of waste. In other words, it powers itself, with electricity to spare. The next-generation processor, more advanced than the one I saw, will handle waste from 100,000 people, producing up to 86,000 liters of potable water a day and a net 250 kw of electricity."

How much does it cost?
"Around $1.5 million, but I would not focus too much on that. This machine is a great profit center compared with many waste-processing systems we have. They'll recover it very fast."

My thoughts...
I have a feeling that the Omniprocessor which uses a steam engine is based on the Sterling engine which Dean Kamen has been working on for the last 15-20 years.

Dean Kamen has a water purification system called the Slingshot.

Janicki's "parent company" is a full fledged engineering company too.

  1. http://www.gatesnotes.com/About-Bill-Gates/A-Day-at-DEKA-Research-with-Dean-Kamen
  2. http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2014/07/02/dean-kamen-thinks-his-new-stirling-engine-could-power-the-world/
  3. http://www.wired.com/2015/01/omniprocessor/

WaterWorld.com Wastewater

Filtration + Separation

WaterWorld.com Drinking Water

Water and Wastewater International

Desalination and Water Reuse - All the Latest News

Water & Wastes Digest