Bill Gates samples drinking water extracted from poop

It is fair to say some of us have become a bit jaded when it comes to hearing about Bill Gates' latest exploits. Never one to shy away good causes and oddball ways of drawing attention to them, the philanthropic billionaire has done everything from releasing mosquitoes on an unsuspecting audience to dousing himself with ice water. Still, Mr. Gates' newest demonstration of the seemingly unmentionable has managed to catch popular attention, and for good reason: he drank a glass of water extracted from poop.

The demonstration was revealed on Gates' blog recently, where his foundation took to discuss efforts in bringing clean water and electricity to developing regions. One way to do that is with a new beast of a machine that takes "sludge" (that's the slurry of more or less liquefied feces) and heats it up, drawing out the water into a system that purifies it into drinking water. To prove that it is safe, Mr. Gates takes a drink on video, which you can see below.

Water isn't the only result of the machine, however, which also then processes the dried matter into electricity which can be fed back into a region's system. The end result of that is "a little ash". Of course, beyond all this is yet another benefit: in addition to bringing electricity and clean drinking water to developing regions, it also offers a way to deal with unsafe latrines that bring disease.

This entire project has been dubbed the Omniprocessor, and it was both built and designed by Janicki Bioenergy based in Seattle. Says the company, the machine meets US emissions standards and does not result in any odor due to the very high heat at which it burns the waste.

SOURCE: Gates Notes