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Oklahoma State University professors work to solve global toilet shortages

Gary Foutch is a regents professor and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. Chair in Chemical Engineering at Oklahoma State University.
by Paula Burkes Published: October 9, 2012
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Q&A with Gary Foutch

OSU professor works to offer

affordable sanitation in world

Q: I understand you're working to develop more efficient toilets worldwide and recently presented to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has taken the lead in tackling the issue that 2.5 billion people worldwide lack access to safe and affordable sanitation. Tell us about your technology. How does it work?

A: We use the concept of viscous heating. Basically, we heat the mass by friction to the point where we can sanitize the waste for safe handling and even vaporize any water for recovery.

Q: What are its benefits?

A: No water or heat is required. The treated waste is safe for agricultural use or energy production.

Q: What has it been like to work with the Gates Foundation?

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by Paula Burkes
Reporter
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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