Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering won the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ‘Reinvent the Toilet’ competition with this sewage system. Not only is the Supercritical Sanitation System self-sustaining, it’s also portable and will fit inside of a shipping container.

The waste treatment processor has the potential to change the way communities manage sewage. This high-efficiency machine is capable of of handling a community of 1,200 people. This is especially relevant to developing communities, as it gives them an alternative to getting rid of waste in rivers or other bodies of water. Clean water and sanitation is an enormous issue for these communities, as their health and basic needs are compromised when their water sources are often multifunctional.

Once full the sewage system can either be pumped, or the contents can be carried to another location. Waste in the container goes into a ‘supercritical state,’ which means water is exposed to extreme temperatures and pressure. In this state, the water can dissolve into gas and can also dissolve other liquids. Furthermore, the dissolved sewage can be oxidized and turned into a sterile amalgamation of water, carbon dioxide and salt.