Virginia Gardiner founded Loowatt Ltd. in late 2009 after receiving seed funding and support from the Innovation RCA Incubator. The idea began as her masters’ degree project in Industrial Design Engineering at the Royal College of Art. Loowatt now employs an interdisciplinary team focused on design, research and business development. Loowatt Ltd. has developed a waterless toilet system that seals human waste into biodegradable polymer film for anaerobic digestion. The digester converts the waste into biogas and digestate, a nutrient-rich liquid that is further treated to be sold as fertilizer. The biogas is used for energy purposes, either burnt as fuel or converted to electricity. Loowatt has patented the toilet’s unique sealing unit and created intelligent and feasible distributive business models to support our waste to energy systems, making toilet operation a profitable enterprise. In 2011 Loowatt was awarded a Grand Challenges Explorations Phase 1 grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to “develop the next generation of sanitation technologies.” The company is now implementing a pilot system in Antananarivo, Madagascar, and exploring market opportunities in the U.K.
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