Reinventing the Toilet

Some might call it the most important chair in the house but for 2.5 billion people around the world, access to safe and sanitary toilets isn’t an option. Researchers at RTI International are reinventing a toilet that is self-sustaining and doesn’t require plumbing or a regular water source, which will benefit the developing world.

NGSS Performance Expectation: Explain how the flow of energy within human food webs is recycling the sun’s energy.

Discussion Questions

  1. What is the difference between the toilet prototype in the Science Now video and the mass burner in the youtube link?
  2. Can you illustrate a conceptual map of how all energy from the sun gets cycled by both the toilet and the mass burner?
  3. How is energy stored in and released by food and waste products?


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