A scientist is planning to incorporate with solar-powered water treatment technology into a portable toilet.
Michael Hoffmann at the California Institute of Technology found that sunlight powers an electrochemical reaction with human waste in water that generates microbe-killing oxidants and releases hydrogen gas.
The researchers plan to collect the hydrogen in a fuel cell to power a light or possibly even a self-cleaning mechanism, New Scientist reported.
Hoffmann received a grant this week from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to build a prototype.
He says he can build one toilet for 2000 dollars and hopes to reduce the cost through design refinement and mass production.
The grant is part of the Gates Foundation's latest global public health initiative to improve sanitation.