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By Bill Gates

The occasion was a tour of a facility that burns human waste and produces water and electricity (plus a little ash). I have visited lots of similar sites, like power plants and paper mills, so when I heard about this one—it’s part of the Gates Foundation’s effort to improve sanitation in poor countries—I was eager to check it out.

The water tasted as good as any I’ve had out of a bottle. And having studied the engineering behind it, I would happily drink it every day. It’s that safe.
Here’s a short video from my visit in November, which explains how it all works:

Why would anyone want to turn waste into drinking water and electricity?

Because a shocking number of people, at least 2 billion, use latrines that aren’t properly drained. Others simply defecate out in the open. The waste contaminates drinking water for millions of people, with horrific consequences: Diseases caused by poor sanitation kill some 700,000 children every year, and they prevent many more from fully developing mentally and physically.

If we can develop safe, affordable ways to get rid of human waste, we can prevent many of those deaths and help more children grow up healthy.
Western toilets aren’t the answer, because they require a massive infrastructure of sewer lines and treatment plants that just isn’t feasible in many poor countries. So a few years ago our foundation put out a call for new solution.

One idea is to reinvent the toilet, which I’ve written about before.

Another idea—and the goal of the project I toured—is to reinvent the sewage treatment plant. 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.

If we get it right, it will be a good example of how philanthropy can provide seed money that draws bright people to work on big problems, eventually creating a self-supporting industry. Our foundation is funding Janicki to do the development. It’s really amazing to see how they’ve embraced the work; founder Peter Janicki and his family have traveled to Africa and India multiple times so they can see the scope of the problem. Our goal is to make the processors cheap enough that entrepreneurs in low- and middle-income countries will want to invest in them and then start profitable waste-treatment businesses.

We still have a lot to learn before we get to that point. The next step is the pilot project; later this year, Janicki will set up an Omniprocessor in Dakar, Senegal, where they’ll study everything from how you connect with the local community (the team is already working with leaders there) to how you pick the most convenient location. They will also test one of the coolest things I saw on my tour: a system of sensors and webcams that will let Janicki’s engineers control the processor remotely and communicate with the team in Dakar so they can diagnose any problems that come up.

The history of philanthropy is littered with well-intentioned inventions that never deliver on their promise. Hopefully, these early steps will help us make sure the Omniprocessor doesn’t join the list. If things go well in Senegal, we’ll start looking for partners in the developing world. For example I think it could be a great fit in India, where there are lots of entrepreneurs who could own and operate the processors, as well as companies with the skill to manufacture many of the parts.

It might be many years before the processor is being used widely. But I was really impressed with Janicki’s engineering. And I’m excited about the business model. The processor wouldn’t just keep human waste out of the drinking water; it would turn waste into a commodity with real value in the marketplace. It’s the ultimate example of that old expression: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Source: www.gatesnotes.com

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Relaxation drinks are not so favored as energy drinks, but they are coming on fast, according to makers illustrating their goods at the Natural Products Expo Friday in Anaheim.

Energy drinks are extremely popular. But some have got a bad rap for potential side-effects, particularly in kids and young adults, eg agitation, heart throbbing and hypertension.

Which has opened the door to relaxation drinks, some of that may trigger their own set of health issues.

Such drinks contain herbs like valerian root and the hormone melatonin, which can produce feelings of relaxation — and will even prompt sleep.

That is the problem.

Some health mavens stress about folk grabbing a drink off the store shelf and then driving an auto, attending a session or operating machinery while beginning to get increasingly unfocused or maybe groggy.

The drinks generally have alert labels, but clients may not notice.

Chillout, a new “natural relaxing drink,” made its debut at the Expo. The 8.4-ounce canned drink contains chamomile, valerian, lemon relief and vitamins.

The drink doesn’t come with an alert label. Chillout isn’t to be confused with Just Chill, another new drink that does not contain valerian or melatonin of kava. Just Chill, the product of a grouping of Southern California surfers, has selected to circumvent the arguable ingredients, asserted Caleb Davidge, the L. A. representative of the Chill Group Inc.

The drink contains the amino acid L-theanine as the important ingredient for relaxation. “We see our drink as more for stress relief,” he announced.

“it doesn’t cause drowsiness.”

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Frozen drinks businessFrozen drinks are very popular especially during the summer when it could get really hot. So if you are planning to put up your own frozen drinks business, the best time to prepare yourself and your company is winter, but best time to sell frozen drinks is summer, because people are more likely to buy your products to cool them and relieve them from hot feeling.

You can opt to get a franchise from well-known frozen drink companies or you could start your own by getting some help with companies that offer lower fees for the frozen drinks machine rental. The second option will usually cost less than the first and these companies offer different kinds of business packages that will suit your needs and budget.

You could search online to see companies offering frozen drinks business packages and compare their prices and the inclusions of these prices. This way, you will be able to get the best deal for your business. They also offer financing options so you will not have to worry about the payment terms.

Most frozen drinks business packages comes with all the things you will need to start your frozen drink business. You will get frozen drink makers and other things you will need. You will also get the accessories and assistance your business will need. Choose a company that will offer to give you full assistance because it can be helpful if you will encounter unexpected problems regarding your frozen drink business.

You can set up you frozen drink machines on the beach where lots of people usually hang out during summer. It would be better if you will offer a wide variety of flavors so customers could have many different choices. You can have fruity flavors that are refreshing, delicious, and healthy at the same time for the figure-conscious men and women. For kids, you could offer vanilla, mocha, or chocolate flavors.

To attract more potential customers, you should make your products more attractive by presenting them in a nice way. Use glasses that will catch customers’ attention like a frosted glass or one that is uniquely shaped. Some also use colored glasses in vibrant hues to complement the color of the frozen drink.

Make it look more refreshing by adding some ice cubes. Customers will definitely like seeing ice on their drinks during the summer season. Just make sure that you don’t put too much ice cubes on the glass as it can melt and mix with the drink and will affect the flavor and taste of the drink.

Summer drinks will not be complete without lemon slices either placed on the rim of the glass or inside the glass with the frozen drink. This will give the frozen drink a fresher look. And don’t forget the traditional umbrella that goes perfectly with the frozen drink and lemon slice.

You’ll be surprised to know how much profit frozen drink mixes could bring you. The amount of money you have invested for the frozen drink machine rental will return to you after just a short period of time. So go ahead with your plan and make the most out of the summer by putting up your own frozen drinks business.

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