Gallery: Loowatt: Toilet Made From Poo Transforms Excrement into Energy


Design gets very literal in this toilet made from poop!

Form follows function to whole new level in Virginia Gardiner’s energy generating toilet – which is literally made from poop! Designed for use in developing countries, the Loowatt is a waterless toilet system that transforms human waste into a highly valued commodity – energy. The low-cost mechanical eco commode encourages people to trade in their waste for biofuel, creating an urban infrastructure that encourages proper waste disposal, cuts down on the spread of water-born illnesses, and provides a reliable source of energy (so long as you’re regular). Check out Dwell‘s fantastic video (below) for an interview with designer Virginia Gardiner, and read on for more on the poop toilet!

In designing the Loowatt system, Virginia sought to provide a solution for the 40% of the world’s population that lives without toilets. In many developing countries the installation of sewage systems is impossible, and improper waste disposal spreads devastating waterborne illnesses that afflict millions.

The Loowatt aims to solve this global sanitation crisis by creating an entirely new waste disposal infrastructure. The composting toilet is molded from 90% horse dung, and features a biodegradable lining that stores excrement in a sealed, odor-free container. Once the toilet is full, the user takes the poo package to an outdoor biodigestor, which in exchange provides a free source of biofuel for cooking.

The Loowatt has been exhibited around the world, was awarded an honorable mention from the AIGA Aspen Design Challenge, and was a finalist in the Buckminster Fuller Challenge. If you’d like to help push the project along, a donation of £17 will net you your very own “poo gem” – a dodecahedron molded from horse manure (makes a swell paperweight, gift or toy!), and £100 or more will net you a lovely deer-head candle holder – just the thing to brighten dungy dingy interior spaces.

+ Loowatt

Via Dwell


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  1. eng.wash August 26, 2011 at 5:36 am

    this is great, can be a solution in a populated area without access to toilets .. I am thinking of Africa ( where I am from) the only problem is how to cope with the behaviour change as in this part the world people still have an other perception of biogaz ( coming from sh..), we have to couple this solution with an awarness campaign

  2. Taimi June 1, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Glad I’ve finally found soetmihng I agree with!

  3. Kayo May 31, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Posts like this brighetn up my day. Thanks for taking the time.

  4. davidspyle March 26, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Bravo Virginai for making/creating the (re)connection!! Of inestimable value! Hosannas.
    And bravo, Mike Chico for a great and timely article.
    And for Inhabitat . . . it’s my first time here.

    Well done!

  5. m December 31, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    What about the toilet paper?

  6. cozmoz August 24, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    I love the concept and only wish I could buy one of these toilets right now!

  7. Stuart Vazquez August 14, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    That is great!! it reminds me a guy that proposed somthing like that in Oaxaca Mexico in a congress 1995. Every body just said no way…and here we are…this idea is grea!! trying to uses the human waste is sustainable…

  8. jelbert July 18, 2009 at 8:22 am

    This is an exelent solution for the waste problem on pleasure boats. It is now (in the Netherlands) forbidden to flush waste overboard. The solution is a septic tank often also filled with a chemical where the waste goes. This dry toilet could
    be a dry more compact system which also delivers gas for cooking.
    So where ca I get one?

  9. micahsheppa June 30, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Where do I get one?

  10. patrice June 28, 2009 at 1:00 am

    Amazing! A waterless toilet made out from human waste which will transformed into energy. This is a very creative design.

  11. Bill Kostyniuk June 26, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    To promote this product in the “first-world”, governments should give tax incentives to get people off flush toilets. Not only will we have healthy water sources and aquatic life but we will not need to tearup our streets to install/replace sewer pipes and treatment facilities.
    Simple is best. Congratulations on a great start.

  12. zenrainman June 26, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Coupla points- Horsedung is valuable – it sells for $0.50 a kg in India and is extremely good manure, its so expensive that it is adulterated with donkey dung :) which unfortunately is not so good as manure. Why for developing countries only? Why not for the developed world? Charity begins at home
    .. and finally
    every a…hole a resource :)

  13. aaweeble4 June 26, 2009 at 7:13 am

    Dude now that is one cool stool! I like it!


  14. Atlanta SEO June 26, 2009 at 4:04 am

    This is pretty amazing. Definite out of the box thinking. I’m interested in seeing what kind of actual impact this might have, if you consider how many people don’t have access to water, this could be an incredible solution for health issues AND a renewable source of energy. Let’s hope people can embrace this kind of vision.

  15. mahalie » Mithun June 25, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Personally I find horse crap pleasing, it’s mostly grass and even in non-molded form smells sweet. I wouldn’t mind it looking organic. But certainly, for wide spread appeal…create one that let’s people abstract themselves from the process for widespread appeal!

  16. kceridon June 25, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    This is awesome. It is an incredible notion to me that these days we think the sign of a great civilization and the height of technology dictates that we must put our cleanest water in toilets while 1.1 billion people on the planet lack access to clean drinking water. Virginia, you are my HERO!

  17. Ihcee June 25, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Great idea! Amazing. ^__^
    I have a suggestion. I imagine you can come up with another design that the people will not notice that this is made of pup. I mean the exterior part of the design. But this is great! keep it up! GOd bless. =)

  18. btomas June 25, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Amazing. I imagine that if you can put it in an other design it can have a future 😉

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