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MEMS Graduate Student Seminar: Toilet Talk: The Thermodynamics Behind Every Flush

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Friday, November 01, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
August Frechette

Globally, 4.5 billion people lack access to safely managed sanitation systems. To address this crisis, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge - a call to engineers to develop affordable and innovative sanitation solutions that can operate without connections to water, sewer, and electricity. One of these solutions, the Reclaimer, was developed by the Duke University Center for WaSH-AID.

Currently, the Reclaimer is capable of running without connections to water or sewer but does require an external power source. To ensure the Reclaimer is available to those that lack access to a reliable power source, it must operate off-grid. The need for successful off-grid operation spurred the completion of an energy demand reduction analysis. In addition to the sanitation crisis, this presentation will detail both the Reclaimer technology and the thermodynamic analyses that have been completed to reduce the Reclaimer's energy requirements.